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Is War 

N ow I 111 possible ? 

Pdblisher's Announcement : 
The Russian Library 
Edited by W. T. Stead 
Vol. I. 

STATESMAN. By K. P. Pobye- 
DONOSTsoFF. Translated from the 
Russian by R. C. Long. With a 
Preface by Olga Novikoff. 
Crown 8vo, 6s. 

John M. Robertson. 

Crown 8vo, 5s. 


The Russian Ltibrary II 

Is War 

Now Impossible? 

Being an Abridgment of "The War of the 

Future in its Technical, Economic 

and I^'l!tic.ll Relations" 

By I. S. Bloch 

Wiih a Prcftitory Conversation with the Author by 

W. 1 . Stead 

Translated from the Russian 
lyith Maps and lUuHrationt 


Grant Richards 


Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson d-» Co. 
At the Ballantyne Press 



Preface: Conairsations with the Author, by 

W. T. Stead vii 

Author's Prefaci Ixiii 



CMAr. '*c« 

I. How War will be Waged ox Land 3 

II. Plans of Campaign : Possible and Impossible 63 

III The Flture or Naval Warfarl . 93 

IV. Does Russia Need A Navy? 113 

V. What Wars have Cost in the Nineteenth 

Century .126 

\'I. What they will Cost in thi: Future . 140 

VII. The Care OF THE Wounded . . 146 

1 V 2t^2:i7 





I. In Russia 163 

II. In Britain 251 

III. In Germany 266 

IV. In France ^77 

V. Effect OF War ON THE Vital Needs OF Peoples 294 

VI. Probable Losses in Future Wars . . 319 
VII. Militarism and its Nemesis . . -347 



Map of Russian Defensive System . . 74 

Map of Paths of Advance of the Austro-German Armies from 
Points of Concentration to the Vistula-Bug-Narev Theatre 

of War 77 

Map of Paths of Advance of the German and Austrian Armies on 
the Vistula-Bug-N'arcv Theatre of War, from Pierron and 

Brailmont 78 

Plan of Invasion by Russia of Prussian Territory So 

Diagram of Expenditure on the Crimean War 129 

Diagram of Expjenditure on the War of 1859 130 

Diagram of Expenditure by Russia on the War of 1S77-78 . 131 

Diagram of Expenditure of Europe on War in the second half 

of the Nineteenth Century 132 

Diagram of Increase per cent, of Military Expenditure between 

"1874 and 1896 134 

Diagrams of Probable Daily Expenditure on a Future War 142-144 
Diagram of Percentage Distribution of the Revenues . 145 

Diagram of Result of Firing from an ii-mil Rifle 149-150 

Plate showing effect of a Bullet fired from a distance of 3500 

metres on the Human Tibia, and on the Bone of an Ox . 153 
Diagram showing Depreciation of Russian Securities at the Out- 
break of War i63 

Plan showing Expenditure by Russia, per Inhabitant, on Army 

and Navy 

Diagram of Russian Exports and Imports (1889-94) . , . 17J 
Diagram of Percentage of Russian Export to Production (1890-94) 1 75 


Plan of Russian Grain Production per Inhabitant 

Diagram of Classification of Russian Imports 

Plan of Russian Commercial Undertakings in 1S92, per 100,000 of 

the Population i3o 

Plan of Russian Expenditure on Posts and Telegraphs per In- 
habitant 181 

Plan of Output of Russian Factories 183 

Diagram of Percentage Comparison of Wages in Russia, Great 

Britain, and North America . . 1S6 



Plan of Percentage Growth of Russian Population between 1885 

and 1897 189 

Plan of Average Number of Houses in a Russian Settlement _ . 191 
Plan of Average Value of one Property destroyed by Fire in 

Russia, between 1860-87 I94 

Plan of Average Losses by Fire in Russia per 100 Inhabitants 

(1860-68) 195 

Plan of Number of Large Cattle in Russia, per 1000 desaytins 

(1888) 199 

Plan of Comparative Yields of Ag-icultural Countries of Europe 200 
Plan of Comparative Number of Large Cattle in Agricultural 

Countries of Europe 201 

Diagram of Russian Harvest in 1893 205 

Diagram of Growth of the Orthodox Population in Russia, and 

the General Population of other Countries, per 1000 . . 207 
Diagram of the Number of Marriages, per 1000, of the Population 

of the Countries of Europe 208 

Diagram of the Number of Births, per 1000, of the Population 

of the Countries of Europe 208 

Diagram of the Mortality, per 1000, of the Population of the 

Countries of Europe 209 

Diagram of Percentage Mortality of Children under one year, in 

the Countries of Europe 210 

Diagram of the Number of Survivors out of 1000 Children born 

at all ages up to 75 212 

^Diagram of the Value of Human Life at Various Ages . .214 

Plan of Outlay on Instruction in Russia in 18S7, per Inhabitant . 215 
Diagram of Percentage of Illiterates accepted for Military Ser- 
vice in chief European Countries . . . . . .217 

Diagrams showing Number of Students in Higher and Interme- 
diate Russian Educational Institutions, per 100,000 of the 

Population 218-219 

Diagram of Number of Doctors in European Countries, per 

100,000 of the Population ....... 220 

Diagram of Number of Quadratic Kilometres for every Doctor . 221 
Plan of Outlay on Medicine in Russia, per Inhabitant . 222 

Plan of Number of Deaths from Typhus in Russia, per 1000 Cases 224 
Diagram of Number of Illegitimates in 1000 Births, in chief 

European Countries ........ 225 

Diagram of Number of Suicides per 100,000 of the Population, 

in chief European Countries 226 

Diagram of Consumption of Spirits per 100 of the Population, 

in chief European Countries, in 1868 and 1888 . . . 229 
Diagram of Number of Deaths from Drunkenness per Million of 

the Population, in chief European Countries . . . 230 

Diagram of Average Number of Convictions per 200,000 of the 

Population of Russia 231 


Diagrams of Numbers of Various Classes condemned for Murder 
per Million of the corresponding Population in chief Euro- 
pean Countries ......... 

Diagrams of Numbers of Various Classes convicted for Theft 
per Million of the corresponding Population in chief Euro- 
pean Countries ......... 

Diagrams of Numbers convicted for Highway Robbery per Mil- 
lion of the corresponding Population in chief European 
Countries .......... 

Diagrams of Numbers convicted for Swindling per Million of the 
corresponding Population, in chief European Countries 

Diagram of Percentage Relation of Men and Women convicted 
in chief European Countries ..... 

Diagram of Percentage Increase in Russia in the Fifteen Chief 
Forms of Crime 

Diagram of Number of Convictions in Great Britain per 100,000 
of the Population 

Diagram of Comparative Convictions in France and Austria 

Diagram of Number of Convictions per 100,000 of Population in 
Germany ......... 

Plan of Expenditure on Justice and Prisons in Russia per Inha 
bitant .......... 

Plan of Percentage of Grown Horses in Russia . 

Plan of Amount of Production of Iron and Steel in Russia . 

Diagram of Number of Native and Imported Cattle in England 

Diagram of Classification by Occupation of 1000 of the Popula 
of Great Britain 

Diagram of Distribution of the Income of the Population of Eng 

Diagram of State of Savings in Great Britain in 1895 • 

Diagram of Expenditure of England on Armed Forces between 
1864 and 1S95 

Diagram of Classification of Workers in Germany according to 
Wages .......... 

Diagram of Emigration from Germany to America (1891-1894) 

Diagram of Value of Foreign Securities stamped in Germany 

Diagram of French Imports and Exports (1860-1894) . 

Diagram of French Trade (i860- 1894) . . . • 

Diagram of French Trade (1883-1894) ... 

Diagram of French Revenue and Expenditure (1S61-1893) 

Diagram of French Debt (1852-1895) 

Diagram of French Savings (1869-1895) 

Diagram of Average Value of Properties, in Francs, passing by 

Diagram of the Distribution of the French Population according 

to Occupation in 1SS6 284 















280, 281 




Diagram of Assistance given to the Poor in France in 1889 288 

Diagram of Number of Old Men and Children in Percentage 

Relation to Population in chief European Countries . . 289 
Diagram of Number of Bachelors in Percentage Relation to 

Population in chief European Countries .... 290 
Diagram of Increase or Decrease of the Population in France 

and Germany per 1000 291 

Diagram of Number of Population in chief European Countries 

in 1788 and 1888 in Millions 292 

Diagram of Value by Growth of I'opulation in France and Ger- 

''many, from 178S to 1888 293 

Diagram showing the Number of Days on which Food would be 

Lacking in Time of War in chief European Counties . . 296 
Diagram showing the Number of Days on which Oats would be 

Lacking in time of War in chief European Countries . 298 

Diagram of Superfluity or Deficiency of Meat in chief European 

Countries .......... 3^4 

Diagram of Superfluity or Deficiency of Salt in chief European 

Countries 305 

Diagram of Superfluity or Deficiency of Kerosene in chief 

European Countries 306 

Diagram of Superfluity or Deficiency of Stone Coal in chief 

European Countries ........ 306 

Chart showing Comparative Development of Socialists and Free- 
thinkers in Germany according to the Elections of 1891 . 312 
Diagram of Percentage of Horses which would be taken for 

Military Purposes in chief European Countries . . . 316 
Diagram showing Amount of Living Force of a Bullet . . 320 
Diagram showing Penetrative Power of the Mauser Bullet on 

Numbers of Horses' Carcases 321 

Diagram of Rotation and Weight of Bullets of various Rifles . 322 
Diagram of Zone of Effective Fire against Infantry by Chassepot 

and Mannlicher Rifles respectively 323 

Diagram of Breadth of Zone of Effective Fire against Cavalry by 

the Chassepot and Mannlicher Rifles respectively . . 324 
Diagram of Distance of Useful Fire ...... 325 

Diagrams of Percentage of Hits in Fire at One Infantryman by 

French and German Soldiers ..... 326-327 
Diagram of the Deviation of the Paskevitch Instrument . . 327 
Diagram of the Number of Cartridges Carried by One Soldier 

with Different Rifles 328 

Diagram of Number of Sappers to 100 Infantrymen in Various 

European Countries ........ 333 

Diagram of Losses in the German Army in the War of 1870 . 336 
Diagram showing Influence of the Quality of Firearms on the 

Relations of Killed to Wounded 343 



''The Future of JVar'' is the title of M. de 
Block's vohiminous cyclopccdia on the art of war, 
past, present, and to come. But that is a mistake. 
For M. Bloc lis thesis is that there is no war to 
come, that war indeed has already beco7ne impossible. 

Hence in presenting to the English public a 
translation of the sixth and concluding volume of 
his immense book, I have taken the liberty of 
giving it a title which more accurately corresponds 
to the subject matter of the contcfits. For M. 
Block conte7ids in all sober seriousness that war — 
great war in the ustial acceptation of tke zvord — 
has already, by tke natural arid 7iormal develop- 
ment of tke art or science of warfare, become a 
pkysical impossibility I 

Tkat is wkat this book was written to prove. 


But, before reading the chapters crammed with 
statistics and entering upon the arguments of the 
great Polish economist, the reader may find it 
convenient to glance over, as a preliminary intro- 
duction to the book, the following free rendering 
of the conversations which I have had the privi- 
lege of enjoying with the author at St. Petersburg 
and in London. 

M. Bloch, I may state in a parenthesis, is a 
well-known banker of Warsaw, who several years 
ago forsook finance, in which he had achieved no 
small success, in order to devote himself to the 
study of political economy, and to examine particu- 
larly the question of the future of war from a 
political economical standpoint. Eight years he 
devoted to the special study of which his work 
" The Future of War " is the mommmit. He 
published it in Russian two years ago. This year 
he has broup'ht out editions in German and in 
French. When I met him in St. Petersburg last 
auttwm he gave 7ne permission to publish a trans- 
lation of his book in English, in whole or in part. 
I have selected the last part, the sixth volume, in 
which he summarises the conclusions which he 
had arrived at in the earlier part of the book. 


M. Block is a man of benevolent mien, of 7niddle 
stature, and apparently between fifty and sixty 
years of age. He paid a flying visit to London 
in April, and is at the present moment of writing 
at the Grand Hotel in Paris. His ho7ne address 
is Warsaw. When he is in St. Petersburg he 
stays at the Hotel d' Europe. 

" Utopians," said M. Bloch ; " and they call us Utopians, 
idealists, visionaries, because we believe that the end of 
war is in sight ? But who are the Utopians, I should 
like to know ? What is a Utopian, using the term as an 
epithet of opprobrium ? He is a man who lives in a 
dream of the impossible ; but what I know and am pre- 
pared to prove is, that the real Utopians who are living 
in a veritable realm of phantasy are those people who 
believe in war. War has been possible, no doubt, but 
it has at last become impossible, and those who are pre- 
paring for war, and basing all their schemes of life on the 
expectation of war, are visionaries of the worst kind, for 
war is no longer possible." 

"That is good news, M. Bloch," I replied ; " but is it 
not somewhat of a paradox ? Only last year we had the 
Spanish-American war ; the year before, the war between 
Turkey and Greece. Since when has war become 
impossible ? " 

" Oh," replied M. Bloch, with vivacity, " I do not speak 
of such wars. It is not to such frontier brawls, or 
punitive operations such as you in England, for instance, 
are perpetually engaging in on the frontiers of your 


extended empire, that I refer when I say that war has 
become impossible. When soldiers and statesmen speak 
about the War of the Future, they do not refer to such 
trumpery expeditions against semi-barbarous peoples. 
The war of the future, the war which has become impos- 
sible, is the war that has haunted the imagination of 
mankind for the last thirty years, the war in which great 
nations armed to the teeth were to fling themselves with 
all their resources into a struggle for life and death 
This is the war that every day becomes more and more 
impossible. Yes, it is in preparations against that im- 
possible war that these so-called practical men, who are 
the real Utopians of our time, are wasting the resources 
of civilisation." 

" Pray explain yourself more clearly, M. Bloch." 
"Well," said he, "I suppose you will admit that war 
has practically become impossible for the minor States. 
It is as impossible for Denmark or for Belgium to make 
war to-day as it would be for you or for me to assert the 
right of private war, which our forefathers possessed. 
We cannot do it. At least, we could only try to do it, 
and then be summarily suppressed and punished for our 
temerity. That is the position of the minor States. For 
them war is practically forbidden by their stronger neigh- 
bours. They are in the position of the descendants of the 
feudal lords, whose right of levying war has vanished 
owing to the growth of a strong central power whose 
interests and authority are incompatible with the exercise 
of what used to be at one time an almost universal 
right. For the minor States, therefore, war is impos- 

" Admitted," I replied. " Impossible, that is to say, 
without the leave and licence of the great Powers." 


" Precisely," said M. Bloch ; " and hence, when we 
discuss the question of future war, we always deal with it 
as a war between great Powers. That is to say, primarily, 
the long talked-of, constantly postponed war between 
France and Germany for the lost provinces; and, secondly, 
that other war, the thought of which has gradually replaced 
that of the single-handed duel between France and 
Germany, viz., a war between the Triplice and the Franco- 
Russian Alliance. It is that war which constantly pre- 
occupies the mind of statesmen and sovereigns of Europe, 
and it is that war which, I maintain, has become absolutely 

'•But how impossible, M, Bloch? Do you mean 
morally impossible ?" 

" No such thing," he replied. " I am dealing not with 
moral considerations, which cannot be measured, but with 
hard, matter-of-fact, material things, which can be esti- 
mated and measured with some approximation to absolute 
accuracy. I maintain that war has become impossible 
alike from a military, economic, and political point of 
view. The very development that has taken place in the 
mechanism of war has rendered war an impracticable 
operation. The dimensions of modern armaments and 
the organisation of society have rendered its prosecution 
an economic impossibility, and, finally, if any attempt 
were made to demonstrate the inaccuracy of my assertions 
by putting the matter to a test on a great scale, we should 
find the inevitable result in a catastrophe which would 
destroy all existing political organisations. Thus, the 
great war cannot be made, and any attempt to make it 
would result in suicide. Such, 1 believe, is the simple 
demonstrable fact." 

" But where is the demonstration ? " I asked. 


M. Bloch turned and pointed to his encyclopaedic work 
upon " The Future of War," six solid volumes, each con- 
taining I do not know how many quarto pages, which 
stood piled one above the other. 

" Read that," he said. " In that book you will find the 
facts upon which my demonstration rests." 

'• That is all very well," I said ; " but how can you, 
M. Bloch, an economist and a banker, set yourself up as 
an authority upon military matters ? " 

" Oh," said M. Bloch, " you have a saying that it is 
often the outsider that sees most ; and you must 
remember that the conclusions arrived at by military 
experts are by no means inaccessible to the general 
student. In order to form a correct idea as to the changes 
that have taken place in the mechanism of war, it is 
quite conceivable that the bystander who is not engaged 
in the actual carrying out of the evolution now in progress 
may be better able to see the drift and tendency of things 
than those who are busily engaged in the actual detail of 
the operation. I can only say that while at first hand 
I have no authority whatever, and do not in any way pose 
as a military or naval expert, I have taken all imaginable 
pains in order to master the literature of warfare, espe- 
cially the most recent treatises upon military operations 
and the handling of armies and fleets, which have been 
published by the leading military authorities in the 
modern world. After mastering what they have written, 
I have had opportunities of discussing personally with 
many officers in all countries as to the conclusions at 
which I have arrived, and I am glad to know that in the 
main there is not much difference of opinion as to the 
accuracy of my general conclusions as to the nature of 
future warfare." 



" But do they also agree with you," I sakJ, " that war 
has become impossible ? " 

"No," said M. Bloch, "that would be too much to 
expect. Otherwise Othello's occupation would be gone. 
But as they have admitted the facts, we can draw our 
own conclusions." 

" But I see in your book you deal with every branch of 
the service, armaments of all kinds, manoeuvres, questions 
of strategy, problems of fortification — everything, in fact, 
that comes into the consideration of the actual conduct 
of modern war. Do you mean to tell me that military 
men generally think you have made no mistakes ? " 

"That would be saying too much. The book was 
referred by the Emperor of Russia at my request to the 
Minister of War, with a request that it should be sub- 
jected to examination by a council of experts. The 
results of that council were subsequently communicated 
to the Emperor in the shape of a report, which set forth 
that while in dealing with so very many questions it was 
impossible to avoid some mistakes, it was their opinion 
that the book was a very useful one, and that it 
was most desirable that it should be placed in the 
hands of all staff officers. They also added an expres- 
sion of opinion that no book could contribute so much 
to the success of the Conference or to the information 
of those who were to take part in its deliberations. 

"The one question upon which strong difference of 
opinion existed was that concerning the use of the 
bayonet. I have arrived at the conclusion, based upon a 
very careful examination of various authorities, that the 
day of the bayonet is over. In the Franco-German war 
the total mortality of the Germans from cold steel 
amounted to only one per cent. The proportion on the 


French side was higher, but I think it can be mathe- 
matically demonstrated that, in future, war will be decided 
at ranges which will render the use of the bayonet impos- 
sible. General Dragomiroff, however, a veteran of the 
old school, cannot tolerate this slight upon his favourite 
weapon. In his eyes the bayonet is supreme, and it is 
cold steel which at the last will always be the deciding 
factor in the combats of peopies. He therefore strongly 
condemns that portion of my book ; but it stands on its 
own merits, and the reader can form his own judgment as 
to the probability of the bayonet being of any practical 
use in future war." 

"General Dragomirofif's devotion to the bayonet," I 
remarked, " reminds me of our admirals' devotion to sails 
in our navy. Fifteen years ago it was quite obvious that 
the fighting ship of the future had no need for sails — 
that, indeed, sails were an encumbrance and a danger ; 
but all the admirals of the old school attached far more 
importance to the smartness in furling and unfurling sail 
than they did to proficiency in gunnery or in any of the 
deciding factors in naval battles. They clung to masts 
and yards for years after all the younger officers in the 
service knew that they might as well have clung to bows 
and arrows ; and I suppose you will find the same thing 
in regard to the bayonet." 

"Yes," said M. Bloch, " the bayonet seems to me alto- 
gether out of date. No doubt it is a deadly enough 
weapon, if you can get within a yard of your enemy ; but 
the problem that 1 have been asking myself is whether in 
future combatants will ever be able to get within one 
hundred yards of one another, let alone one yard." 

" But then," I rejoined, " if that be so, wars will be 
much less deadly than they were before." 


"Yes and no," said M. Bloch ; "they will become less 
deadly because they have become more deadly. There 
is no kind of warfare so destructive of human life as that 
in which you have bodies of men face to face wnth each 
other, with nothing but cold steel to settle the issue. 
The slaughter which took place in the old wars between 
barbarians, or between the Romans and the barbarian 
tribes on their frontiers, was simply appalling. There is 
nothing like it in modern warfare, and this diminution 
of the mortality in battle has been, paradoxically enough, 
produced by the improved dcadliness of the weapons with 
which men fight. They are, indeed, becoming so deadly 
that before long you will see they will never fight at all." 

"That," I replied, "was the faith of Rudyard Kipling, 
who wrote me a few months ago saying that he relied for 
the extinction of war upon the invention of a machine 
which would infallibly slay fifty per cent, of the com- 
batants whenever battle was waged. ' Then,' he said, 
'war would cease of itself.' The same idea was expressed 
by Lord Lytton in his novel of 'The Coming Race,' in 
which he attributed the final disappearance of war from 
the planet to the discovery of vril, a destructive so deadly 
that an army could be annihilated by the touch of a 
button by the finger of a child." 

"Yes," said M. Bloch; "that is so; but until mankind 
has made experience of the dcadliness of its weapons 
there will be terrible bloodshed. For instance, at Omdur- 
man the destruction inflicted upon the forces of the 
Khalifa came very near the fifty per cent, standard of 
Rudyard Kipling. That one experience was probably 
sufficient even for the Dervishes. They will never again 
face the fire of modern rifles. The experience which they 
have learned is rapidly becoming generalised throughout 



the armies of Christendom, and although there may be 
some frightful scenes of wholesale slaughter, one or two 
experiences of that kind will rid our military authorities 
of any desire to come to close quarters with their 

'• What a paradox it is ! " I replied. "We shall end by 
killing nobody, because if we fought at all we should kill 
everybody. Then you do not anticipate increased 
slaughter as the result of the increased precision in 
weapons ? " 

"You mistake me," said M. Bloch. "At first there 
will be increased slaughter — increased slaughter on so 
terrible a scale as to render it impossible to get troops to 
push the battle to a decisive issue. They will try to, 
thinking that they are fighting under the old conditions, 
and they will learn such a lesson that they will abandon 
the attempt for ever. Then, instead of a war fought out to 
the bitter end in a series of decisive battles, we shall have 
as a substitute a long period of continually increasing 
strain upon the resources of the combatants. The war, 
instead of being a hand-to-hand contest in which the 
combatants measure their physical and moral superiority, 
will become a kind of stalemate, in which neither army 
being able to get at the other, both armies will be 
maintained in opposition to each other, threatening each 
other, but never being able to deliver a final and decisive 
attack. It will be simply the natural evolution of the 
armed peace, on an aggravated scale." 

" Yes," said M. Bloch, " accompanied by entire disloca- 
tion of all industry and severing of all the sources of supply 
by which alone the community is enabled to bear the 
crushing burden of that armed peace. It will be a multi- 
plication of expenditure simultaneously accompanied by a 


diminution of the sources by which that expenditure can 
be met. That is the future of war— not fighting, but 
famine, not the slaying of men, but the bankruptcy of 
nations and the break-up of the whole social organisation." 
" Now I begin to perceive how it is that we have as a 
prophet of the end of war a poUtical economist, and not 

a soldier." 

"Yes," said M. Bloch, " it is as a pohtical economist that 
I discovered the open secret which he who runs may read. 
The soldier by natural evolution has so perfected the 
mechanism of slaughter that he has practically secured 
his own extinction. He has made himself so costly that 
mankind can no longer afford to pay for his maintenance, 
and he has therefore transferred the sceptre of the world 
from those who govern its camps to those who control its 


" But now, M. Bloch, will you condescend to particulars, 
and explain to me how this great evolution has been 
brought about ? " 

" It is very simple," said M. Bloch. " The outward and 
visible sign of the end of war was the introduction of the 
magazine rifle. For several hundred years after the dis- 
covery of gunpowder the construction of firearms made 
little progress. The cannon with which you fought at 
Trafalgar differed comparatively little from those which 
you used against the Armada. For two centuries you 
were content to clap some powder behind a round ball in an 
iron tube, and fire it at your enemy. 

" The introduction of the needle gun and of breech- 
loading cannon may be said to mark the dawn of the new 
era, which, however, was not definitely established amongst 
us until the invention of the magazine rifle of very small 
calibre. The magazine gun may also be mentioned as an 


xviii PREFACE 

illustration of the improved deadliness of firearms ; but, as 
your experience at Obdurman showed, the deciding factor 
was not the Maxim, but the magazine rifle." 

"Yes," I said; "as Lord Wolseley said, it was the 
magazine rifle which played like a deadly hose spouting 
leaden bullets upon the advancing enemy." 

" Yes," said M. Bloch, " and the possibility of firing 
half a dozen bullets without having to stop to reload has 
transformed the conditions of modern war." 

" Do you not exaggerate the importance of mere rapidity 
of fire ? " I asked. 

" No," said M. Bloch ; " rapidity of fire does not stand 
alone. The modern rifle is not only a much more rapid 
firer than its predecessors, but it has also an immensely 
wider range and far greater precision of fire. To these 
three qualities must be added yet a fourth, which completes 
the revolutionary nature of the new firearm, and that is 
the introduction of smokeless powder." 

" The Spanish-American campaign," I said, " illustrated 
the importance of smokeless powder; but how do you 
think the smokelessness of the new explosives will affect 
warfare in the future ?" 

" In the first case," said M. Bloch, " it demolishes the 
screen behind which for the last 400 years human beings 
have fought and died. All the last great battles have been 
fought more or less in the dark. After the battle is joined, 
friends and foes have been more or less lost to sight in the 
clouds of dense smoke which hung heavy over the whole 
battlefield. Now armies will no longer fight in the dark. 
Every soldier in the fighting line will see with frightful 
distinctness the havoc which is being made in the ranks 
by the shot and shell of the enemy. The veil which gun- 
powder spread over the worst horrors of the battlefield has 



been withdrawn for ever. But that is not the only change. 
It is difficult to over-estimate the increased strain upon the 
nerve and morale of an army under action by the fact that 
men will fall killed and wounded without any visible or 
audible cause. In the old days the soldier saw the puff of 
smoke, heard the roar of the gun, and when the shell or 
shot ploughed its way through the ranks, he associated 
cause and effect, and was to a certain extent prepared for 
it. In the warfare of the future men will simply fall and 
die without either seeing or hearing anything." 
"Without hearing anything, M. Bloch ? " 
" Without hearing anything, for although the smokeless 
powder is not noiseless, experience has proved that the 
report of a rifle will not carry more than nine hundred 
yards, and volley-firing cannot be heard beyond a mile. 
But that brings us to the question of the increased range 
of the new projectiles. An army on march will suddenly 
become aware of the comparative proximity of the foe by 
seeing men drop killed and wounded, without any visible 
cause ; and only after some time will they be able to 
discover that the invisible shafts of death were sped from 
a line of sharp-shooters lying invisible at a distance of a 
mile or more. There will be nothing along the whole 
line of the horizon to show from whence the death- 
dealing missiles have sped. It will simply be as if the 
bolt had come from the blue. Can you conceive of 
anything more trying to human nerves ? " 

" But what is the range of the modern rifle ? " 
" The modern rifle," said M. Bloch, " has a range of 
3000 or 4000 metres — that is to say, from two to three 
miles. Of course, I do not mean to say that it will be 
used at such great distances. For action at long range, 
artillery is much more effective. But of that I will speak 


shortly. But you can fairly say that for one mile or a 
mile and a half the magazine rifle is safe to kill anything 
that stands between the muzzle and its mark ; and 
therein," continued M. Bloch, " lies one of the greatest 
changes that have been effected in modern firearms. Just 
look at this diagram" (see page i). "It will explain 
better than anything I can say the change that has been 
brought about in the last do^en years. 

" In the last great war, if you wished to hit a distant 
mark, you had to sight your rifle so as to fire high up into 
the air, and the ball executing a curve descended at the 
range at which you calculated your target stood. Between 
the muzzle and the target your bullet did no execution. 
It was soaring in the air, first rising until it reached the 
maximum height, and then descending it struck the target 
or the earth at one definite point some thousand yards 
distant. Contrast this with the modern weapon. There 
is now no need for sighting your gun so as to drop your 
bullet at a particular range. You aim straight at your 
man, and the bullet goes, as is shown in the diagram, 
direct to its mark. There is no climbing into the air to 
fall again. It simply speeds, say, five feet from the earth 
until it meets its mark. Anything that stands between 
its object and the muzzle of the rifle it passes through. 
Hence whereas in the old gun you hit your man only if 
you could drop your bullet upon the square yard of 
ground upon which he was standing, you now hit him so 
long as you train your rifle correctly on every square 
yard of the thousand or two thousand which may inter- 
vene between the muzzle of your gun and the end of the 
course of the shot. That circumstance alone, even 
without any increase in the rapidity of the fire, must 
enormously add to the deadliness of the modern firearms." 


" Could you give me any exact statistics as to the 
increased rapidity of fire ? " 

"Certainly," said M. Bloch. "That is to say, I can 
give you particulars up to a comparatively recent time, 
but the progress of the science of firearms is so rapid that 
no one can say but that my statistics may be old before 
you print your report of this talk. The ordinary soldier 
will fire twelve times as many shots per minute as he 
was able to do in 1870, and even this is likely to be 
rapidly improved upon. But you may take it that what 
with increased rapidity of fire, greater penetrative power, 
and the greater precision that the gun which the soldier 
will carry into the battle will possess, the rifle of 
to-morrow will be forty times as effective as the chassepot 
was in the Franco-Prussian war. Even the present gun 
is five times as deadly." 

"But do not you think that with this rapid firing a 
soldier will spend all his ammunition and have none 
left ? " 

" There, again," said M. Bloch, " the improvement in 
firearms has enormously increased the number of cart- 
ridges which each man can carry into action. In 1877, 
when we went to war with Turkey, our soldiers could 
only carry 84 cartridges into action. When the calibre 
of the rifle was reduced to 5 mm. the number which each 
soldier was furnished with rose to 270. With a bullet of 
4 mm. he will carry 380, and when we have a rifle of 
3 mm. calibre he will be able to take 575 into action, and 
not have to carry any more weight than that which 
burdened him when he carried 84, twenty years ago. 
At present he carries 170 of the 7*62 mm." 

" But we are a long way off 3 mm. calibre, are we not, 
M. Bloch ? " 


" Not so far. It is true that very many countries have 
not yet adopted so small a bore. Your country, for 
instance, has between 7| and 8 mm. The United States 
have adopted one with 6 ; Germany is contemplating 
the adoption of 5 ; but the 3 mm. gun will probably be 
the gun of the future, for the increased impetus of the 
small bore and its advantage in lightness will compel its 

" You speak of the increased penetrative power of the 
bullet. Do you think this will add considerably to the 
deadliness of rifle-fire ? " 

"Oh, immensely," said M. Bloch. "As you contract 
the calibre of the gun you increase the force of its 
projectile. For instance, a rifle with a calibre of only 
6*5 mm. has 44 per cent, more penetrative power than 
the shot fired by an 8 mm. rifle. Then, again, in previous 
wars, if a man could throw himself behind a tree he felt 
comparatively safe, even although the bullets were hurt- 
ling all round. To-day the modern bullet will pierce a 
tree without any difQculty. It also finds no obstacle in 
earthworks such as would have turned aside the larger 
bullets. There is therefore less shelter, and not only 
is there less shelter, but the excessive rapidity with which 
the missile travels (for it is absurd to call the slender 
projectile, no thicker than a lead pencil, a ball) will add 
enormously to the destructive power of the shot. Usually 
when a bullet struck a man, it found its billet, and 
generally stopped where it entered ; but with the new 
bullet this will not be the case. At a near range it will 
pass through successive files of infantry, but what is more 
serious is that should it strike a bone, it is apt to fly 
upwards or sideways, rending and tearing everything 
through which it passes. The mortality will be much 

PREFACE xxiii 

greater from this source than it has been in the 

" But is this not all very much theory ? Have you any 
facts in support of your beh'ef that the modern bullet will 
be so much more deadly than its predecessor ? In Eng- 
land quite the opposite impression prevailed, owing to the 
experience which we gained in Jameson's raid, when many 
of the combatants were shot through and seemed none the 
worse, even although the bullet appeared to have traversed 
a vital part of the body." 

M. Bloch replied : " I do not know about the Jame- 
son raid. I do know what happened when the soldiers 
fired recently upon a crowd of riotous miners. It is 
true that they fired at short range, not more than thirty 
to eighty paces. The mob also was not advancing in 
loose formation, but, like most mobs, was densely 
packed. Only ten shots were fired, but these ten shots 
killed outright seven of the men and wounded twenty-five, 
of whom six afterwards died. Others who were slightly 
wounded concealed their injuries, fearing prosecution. 
Each shot, therefore, it is fair to estimate, must have hit 
at least four persons. But ignoring those unreported 
cases, there were thirty-two persons struck by bullets. 
Of these, thirteen died, a proportion of nearly 40 per cent., 
which is at least double the average mortality of persons 
hit by rifle-bullets in previous wars. It has also been 
proved by experiments made by firing shots into carcases 
and corpses, that when the bullet strikes a bone it acts 
virtually as an explosive bullet, as the point expands and 
issues in a kind of mushroom shape. Altogether I take a 
very serious view of the sufferings," continued M. Bloch, 
" and of the injury that will be inflicted by the new 


" Is the improvement in the deadliness of weapons con- 
fined to small-arms ? Does it equally extend to artillery 
firing ? " 

"There," said M. Bloch, "you touch upon a subject 
which I have dealt with at much length in my book. The 
fact is that if the rifle has improved, artillery has much more 
improved. Even before the quick-firing gun was intro- 
duced into the field batteries an enormous improvement 
had been made. So, indeed, you can form some estimate 
of the evolution of the cannon when I say that the French 
artillery to-day is held by competent authorities to be at 
least one hundred and sixteen times more deadly than the 
batteries which went into action in 1870." 

" How can that be ? " I asked. " They do not fire one 
hundred and sixteen times as fast, I presume ? " 

" No ; the increased improvement has been obtained 
in many ways. By the use of range-finders it is possible 
now to avoid much firing into space which formerly pre- 
vailed. An instrument weighing about 60 lb. will in three 
minutes give the range of any distance up to four miles, 
and even more rapid range-finders are being constructed. 
Then, remember, higher explosives are used ; the range 
has been increased, and even before quick-firing guns were 
introduced it was possible to fire two and a half times as 
fast as they did previously. The effect of artillery-fire 
to-day is at least five times as deadly as it was, and being 
two or three times as fast, you may reckon that a battery 
of artillery is from twelve to fifteen times as potent an 
instrument of destruction as it was thirty years ago. Even 
in 1870 the German artillerists held that one battery was 
able absolutely to annihilate any force advancing along a 
line of fire estimated at fifteen paces in breadth for a distance 
of over four miles. 


" If that was so then, you can imagine how much more 
deadly it is now, when the range is increased and the 
explosive power of the shell has been enormously 
developed. It is estimated that if a body of 10,000 
men, advancing to the attack, had to traverse a distance 
of a mile and a half under the fire of a single battery, they 
would be exposed to 1450 rounds before they crossed the 
zone of fire, and the bursting of the shells fired by that 
battery would scatter 275,000 bullets in fragments over 
the mile and a half across which they would have to march. 
In 1870 an ordinary shell when it burst broke into from 
nineteen to thirty pieces. To-day it bursts into 240. 
Shrapnel fire in 1870 only scattered thirty-seven death- 
dealing missiles. Now it scatters 340. A bomb weighing 
about 70 lb. thirty years ago would have burst into forty- 
two fragments. To-day, when it is charged with peroxi- 
lene, it breaks up into 1200 pieces, each of which is 
hurled with much greater velocity than the larger lumps 
which were scattered by a gunpowder explosion. It is 
estimated that such a bomb would eiTectively destroy all 
life within a range of 200 metres of the point of explosion. 
The artillery also benefits by the smokeless powder, 
although, as you can easily imagine, it is not without its 

" What drawbacks ? " 

" The fact that the artillerymen can be much more 
easily picked off, when they are serving their guns, by 
sharp-shooters than was possible when they were 
enveloped in a cloud of smoke of their own creation. It 
is calculated that one hundred sharp-shooters, who would 
be quite invisible at a range of five hundred yards, would 
put a battery out of action in four minutes if they could 
get within range of one thousand yards. At a mile's 


range it might take one hundred men half an hour's shoot- 
ing to put a battery out of action. The most effective 
range for the sharp-shooter is about eight hundred paces. 
At this range, while concealed behind a bush or improvised 
earthwork, a good shot could pick off the men of any 
battery, or the officers, who could not avail themselves of 
the cover to which their men resort." 

" How will your modern brttle begin, M. Bloch ? " 
" Probably with attempts on outposts made by sharp- 
shooters to feel and get into touch with each other. 
Cavalry will not be of much use for that purpose. A 
mounted man offers too good a mark to a sharp-shooter. 
Then when the outposts have felt each other sufficiently 
to give the opposing armies knowledge of the whereabouts 
of their antagonists, the artillery duel will commence at a 
range of from four to five miles. As long as the artillery 
is in action it will be quite sufficient to render the nearer 
approach of the opposing forces impossible. If they are 
evenly matched, they will mutually destroy each other, 
after inflicting immense losses before they are put out of 
action. Then the turn of the rifle will come. But the 
power of rifle-fire is so great that it will be absolutely 
impossible for the combatants to get to close quarters 
with each other. As for any advance in force, even in 
the loosest of formations, on a front that is swept by the 
enemies' fire, that is absolutely out of the question. Flank 
movements may be attempted, but the increased power 
which a magazine rifle gives to the defence will render 
it impossible for such movements to have the success 
that they formerly had. A small company can hold its 
own against a superior attacking force long enough to 
permit of the bringing up of reinforcements. To attack 
any position successfully, it is estimated that the attack- 

PREFACE xxvii 

ing force ought to outnumber the assailants at least by 
8 to I. It is calculated that lOO men in a trench would 
be able to put out of action 336 out of 400 who attacked 
them, while they were crossing a fire-zone only 300 yards 

" What do you mean by a fire-zone ? " 

" A fire-zone is the space which is swept by the fire of 
the men in the trench." 

"But you assume that they are entrenched, M. 
Bloch ? " 

" Certainly, everybody will be entrenched in the next 
war. It will be a great war of entrenchments. The 
spade will be as indispensable to a soldier as his rifle. 
The first thing every man will have to do, if he cares for 
his life at all, will be to dig a hole in the ground, and 
throw up as strong an earthen rampart as he can to 
shield him from the hail of bullets which will fill the air." 

"Then," I said, "every battlefield will more or less 
come to be like Sebastopol, and the front of each army can 
only be approached by a series of trenches and parallels? " 

" Well, that, perhaps, is putting it too strongly," said 
M. Bloch, " but you have grasped the essential principle, 
and that is one reason why it will be impossible for the 
battle of the future to be fought out rapidly. All digging 
work is slow work, and when you must dig a trench 
before you can make any advance, your progress is neces- 
sarily slow. Battles will last for days, and at the end it 
is very doubtful whether any decisive victory can be 

"Always supposing," I said, "that the ammunition 
does not give out." 

" Ammunition will not give out. Of powder and shot 
there is always plenty." 



" I doubt that," I replied. " The weak point of all this 
argument as to the impossibility of war implies that the 
modern mechanism of war, which is quite sufficient to 
prevent armies coming into close contact, also possesses 
qualities of permanence, or rather of inexhaustibility. What 
seems much more probable is that with the excessive 
rapidity of fire, armies will empty their magazines, and 
the army that fires its last cartridge first will be at the 
mercy of the other. Then the old veteran Dragomiroff 
will rejoice, for the bayonet will once more come into 

M. Bloch shook his head. 

" I do not think that armies will run short of ammuni- 
tion. All my arguments are based upon the assumption 
that the modern war is to be fought with modern arms. 
I do not take into account the possibility that there will 
be a reversion to the primitive weapons of an earlier 

" Well, supposing that you are right, and that ammu- 
nition does not run short, what will happen ? " 

" I have quoted in my book," said M. Bloch, " the best 
description that I have ever seen of what may be expected 
on a modern battlefield. I will read it to you, for it seems 
to convey, more vividly than anything that I could say, 
just what we may expect : — 

" The distance is 6000 metres from the enemy. The 
artillery is in position, and the command has been passed 
along the batteries to ' give fire.' The enemy's artillery 
replies. Shells tear up the soil and burst ; in a short time 
the crew of every gun has ascertained the distance of the 
enemy. Then every projectile discharged bursts in the 
air over the heads of the enemy, raining down hundreds 


of fragments and bullets on his position. Men and horses 
are overwhelmed by this rain of lead and iron. Guns 
destroy one another, batteries are mutually annihilated, 
ammunition cases are emptied. Success will be with 
those whose fire does not slacken. In the midst of this 
fire the battalions will advance. 

" Now they are but 2000 metres away. Already the 
rifle-bullets whistle round and kill, each not only finding 
a victim, but penetrating files, ricocheting, and striking 
again. Volley succeeds volley, bullets in great handfuls, 
constant as hail and swift as lightning, deluge the field of 

" The artillery having silenced the enemy is now free 
to deal with the enemy's battalions. On his infantry, 
however loosely it may be formed, the guns direct thick 
iron rain, and soon in the position of the enemy the earth 
is reddened with blood. 

"The firing lines will advance one after the other, 
battalions will march after battalions ; finally the reserves 
will follow. Yet with all this movement in the two armies 
there will be a belt a thousand paces wide, separating 
them as by neutral territory, swept by the fire of both 
sides, a belt which no living being can stand for a moment. 
The ammunition will be almost exhausted, millions of 
cartridges, thousands of shells will cover the soil. But 
the fire will continue until the empty ammunition cases 
are replaced with full. 

" Melinite bombs will turn to dust farmhouses, villages, 
and hamlets, destroying everything that might be used as 
cover, obstacle, or refuge. 

" The moment will approach when half the combatants 
will be mowed down, dead and wounded will lie in parallel 
rows, separated one from the other by that belt of a 


thousand paces which will be swept by a cross fire of 
shells which no living being can pass. 

" The battle will continue with ferocity. But still that 
thousand paces unchangingly separate the foes. 

"Who shall have gained the victory ? Neither. 

" This picture serves to illustrate a thought which, since 
the perfection of weapons, has occupied the minds of all 
thinking people. What will take place in a future war ? 
Such are constrained to admit that between the combatants 
will always be an impassable zone of fire deadly in an 
equal degree to both the foes. 

" With such conditions, in its application to the battles of 
the future, the saying of Napoleon seems very question- 
able : ' The fate of battle is the result of one minute, of 
one thought, the enemies approach with different plans, 
the battle becomes furious ; the decisive moment arrives, 
and a happy thought sudden as lightning decides the con- 
test, the most insignificant reserve sometimes being the 
instrument of a splendid victory.' 

" It is much more probable that in the future both sides 
will claim the victory." 

" Pleasant pictures, certainly ; and if that authority is 
right, you are indeed justified in believing that there will 
be no decisive battles in the war of the future." 

" There will be no war in the future," said M. Bloch ; 
*' for it has become impossible, now that it is clear that 
war means suicide." 

" But is not everything that you are saying an assump- 
tion that people will make war, and that therefore war 
itself t's possible ? " 

" No doubt," said M. Bloch ; " the nations may endeavour 
to prove that I am wrong, but you will see what will 


happen. Nothing will be demonstrated by the next war 
if it is made, in spite of warnings, but the impossibility of 
making war, except, of course, for the purpose of self- 
destruction. I do not for a moment deny that it is possi- 
ble for nations to plunge themselves and their neighbours 
into a frightful series of catastrophes which would probably 
result in the overturn of all civilised and ordered govern- 
ment. That is, of course, possible ; but when we say that 
war is impossible we mean that it is impossible for the 
modern State to carry on war under the modern conditions 
with any prospect of being able to carry that war to a 
conclusion by defeating its adversary by force of arms on 
the battlefield. No decisive war is possible. Neither is 
any war possible, as I proceed to show, that will not entail, 
even upon the victorious Power, the destruction of its 
resources and the break-up of society. War therefore 
has become impossible, except at the price of suicide. 
That would, perhaps, be a more accurate way of stating 
the thesis of my book." 

" I understand ; but do you think you have proved 
this ? " 

" Certainly," said M. Bloch. " So far 1 have only 
spoken about the improvements that have been wrought 
in two branches of the service, viz., in the magazine rifle 
and the greater efficiency of artillery. Taken by them- 
selves, they are sufficiently serious to justify grave doubt 
as to whether or not we have not reached a stage when 
the mechanism of slaughter has been so perfected as to 
render a decisive battle practically impossible ; but these 
two elements are only two. They are accompanied by 
others which are still more formidable to those who persist 
in contemplating war as a practical possibility." 

" To what are you referring ? " I asked. 

xxxil PREFACE 

" Chiefly to the immensity of the modern army. The 
war of 1870-71 was a contest of giants, but the German 
armies operating in France did not exceed half a million 
men, whereas if war were to break out to-day, the Germans 
would concentrate over a million men on their front, while 
the French would be no whit behind them in the energy 
with which they would concentrate all their available 
fighting men on the frontier. In a war between the Triple 
and the Dual Alliance there would be ten millions of men 
under arms." 

" How would you make up the total of ten millions 
which you say would be mobilised in case of a war between 
the Dual and Triple Alliance ? " 

" The figures in millions are briefly : Germany, 
2,500,000; Austria, i 3-ioths millions; Italy, i 3-ioths 
millions, making a total of 5,100,000 for the Triple 
Alliance. France would mobilise 2| millions, and Russia 
2,800,000, making 5,300,000 — 10,400,000. It has yet to 
be proved that the human brain is capable of directing the 
movements and providing for the sustenance of such 
immense masses of human beings. The unwieldiness of 
the modem army has never been adequately taken into 
account. Remember that those millions will not be com- 
posed of veterans accustomed to act together. More than 
half of the German and French troops which will be con- 
fronting each other on mobilisation in case of war will be 
drawn from the reserves. In Russia the proportion of 
reserves would be only three hundred and sixty, in Italy 
two hundred and sixty, per thousand ; but even this pro- 
portion is quite sufficient to indicate how large a mass of 
men, comparatively untrained, would find their place in 
the fighting front." 

" But have not great generals in the past commanded 

PREFACE xxxiii 

armies of millions ? — Xerxes, for instance, and Tamerlane, 
and Attila at the head of his Huns ? " 

"No doubt," said M. Bloch, "that is quite true; but it 
is one thing to direct a horde of men living in the simplest 
fashion, marching shoulder to shoulder in great masses, 
and it is an altogether different thing to manoeuvre and 
supply the enormously complex machine which we call a 
modern army. Remember, too, that in the old days men 
fought in masses, whereas the very essence of modern 
war is that you must advance in loose order and never 
have too big a clump of soldiers for your enemy to fire at. 
Hence the battle will be spread over an enormous front, 
and every mile over which you spread your men increases 
the difficulties of supply, of mutual co-operation, and of 
combined effort." 

" But has not the training of officers kept pace with the 
extension and development of modern armaments ? " 

"Yes," said M. Bloch, "and no. It is true, no doubt, 
that an effort has been made to bring up the technical 
training of officers to the necessary standard ; but this is 
quite impossible in all cases. A very large proportion of 
the officers who will be in command in a general mobilisa- 
tion would be called from the reserve, that is to say, they 
would be men who are not familiar with the latest develop- 
ments of modern tactics, and who would find themselves sud- 
denly called upon to deal with conditions of warfare that 
were almost as different from those with which they were 
trained to deal as the legionaries of Caesar would have 
been if they had been suddenly summoned to face the 
musketeers of Frederic the Great." 

" Is that not an exaggeration, M. Bloch ? Do you think 
that the art of war has changed so much ? " 

" Changed ? " said M. Bloch ; " it has been so thoroughly 


xxxlv PREFACE 

revolutionised in the last thirty years, that if I had a son 
who was preparing for a military career, I would not let 
him read a book on tactics or strategy that had not been 
written in the last fifteen years, and even then he would 
find that great changes had taken place within that period. 
It is simply appalling to contemplate the spectacle of 
millions of men, half of whom have been hurriedly sum- 
moned from the field, the factory, and the mine, and the 
whole placed under command of officers not one in a 
hundred of whom has ever been under fire, and half of 
whom have been trained in a more or less antiquated 
school of tactics. But even then that is not the worst. 
What we have to recognise is the certainty that even if all 
officers were most efficient when the war began, the war 
would not last many weeks before the majority of the 
officers had been killed off." 

" But why ? " I said. 

"The percentage of officers killed and wounded in 
action was much greater even in 1870 than the proportion 
of privates killed and wounded. The Germans, for 
instance, lost two officers killed and three wounded to 
each private who was similarly disabled. But that was 
before the improved weapon came into play. In the 
Chilian war the proportion of officers killed was 23 per 
cent, and 75 per cent, wounded, whereas among the men 
only 13 per cent, were killed and 60 per cent, wounded." 

"To what do you attribute this?" I asked. 

" The cause is very simple. The officers are compelled 
to expose themselves much more than the men under 
their orders. They have to be up and about and moving, 
while the men are lying in the shelter of the trenches. 
This is so well recognised that every Continental army 
pays special attention to the training of sharp-shooters, 


whose word of command is that they should never waste 
a shot upon any one but an officer. Hence the general 
conviction on the part of the officers abroad that if the 
great war broke out they would never survive to see the 
conclusion of peace." 

" When I was in Paris, M. Bloch, that conviction did 
not seem to be very general on the part of the French 

" It is different in Germany," said M. Bloch, " and in 
Austria-Hungary, and the French would not be long in 
finding it out. Again and again officers have said to me 
that while they would of course do their duty if they were 
ordered to the front, they would take their place at the 
head of their men knowing that they would never return. 
So general is this conviction that you will find very little 
trace of any war party among the officers in Germany. 
They know too well what war would mean to them. But 
I am not thinking so much of the fate of the individuals 
as the result which will inevitably follow when this 
massed million of men found themselves deprived of their 

"An army is a very highly specialised organisa- 
tion. Without competent officers, accustomed to com- 
mand, it degenerates into a mere mob, and of all 
things in the world nothing is so helpless as a mob. It 
can neither march, fight, manoeuvre, nor feed itself. An 
army without leaders is not only a mob, but it is apt to 
degenerate into a very cowardly mob. Remember that 
every man is not naturally brave. It was said long ago 
that a very good fighting army consisted of three sorts of 
soldiers : only one-third of the men in the ranks were 
naturally brave, another third were naturally cowards, 
while the last third was capable of being brave under 

xxxvi PREFACE 

circumstances when it was well led and kept up to its 
work. Take away the officers, and this middle third 
naturally gravitate to the cowardly contingent, with 
results which have been seen on many a stricken field. 
Hence, under modern conditions of warfare every army 
will tend inevitably to degenerate into such a mob. It is 
for those practical military men who persist in regard- 
ing war as a possibility tv-* explain how they hope to 
overcome the difficulty created by the very magnitude 
and unwieldiness of the machine which they have 

" But do not you think, M. Bloch, that if the nations 
discover that their armies are too big to be used, they 
will only fight with such manageable armies as they can 
bring to the front, manoeuvre, feed, and supply with the 
munitions of war ? " 

M. Bloch shook his head. " The whole drift and 
tendency of modern tactics," he said, " is to bring up the 
maximum number of men to the front in the shortest 
possible loss of time and to hurl them in the largest 
possible numbers upon the enemy's position. It is abso- 
lutely necessary, if you take the offensive, to have a 
superior force. It is from a military point of view an 
impossibility to attack a superior force with an inferior, 
and the effect of the improvement in modern weapons has 
been to still further enhance the necessity for superiority 
of force in attacking. There will, therefore, be no 
question of fighting with small armies. The largest 
possible force will be brought to the front, and this effort 
will inevitably result in the breakdown of the whole 

" You must have the maximum ready to hand at 
the beginning. Remember the fighting force of an army 

PREFACE xxxvii 

weakens with every mile that it advances from its base. 
Napoleon entered Russia with 400,000 men ; but although 
he had only fought one battle, he had only 130,000 men 
with him when he entered Moscow. The Germans, when 
they were in France, employed one-sixth of their infantry 
in covering their communications and defending their 
rear. This proportion is likely to be much increased in 
future wars. The opportunity for harassing the line of 
communications in the rear of an invading army has been 
enormously multiplied by the invention of smokeless 
powder. The franc tireur in the Franco-German war 
took his life in his hand, for the range of his gun was not 
very great in the first place, and in the second his where- 
abouts was promptly detected by the puff of smoke which 
showed his hiding-place. Now the whole line of com- 
munications will be exposed to dropping shots from marks- 
men who, from the security of thicket or hedge, will deal 
out sudden death without any tell-tale smoke to guide 
their exasperated and harassed enemy to the hiding- 

" I have now dealt," said M. Bloch, " with the difficulties 
in the way of modern war, arising first from the immense 
improvement that has been wrought in the mechanism of 
slaughter, and secondly with the unmanageability of the 
immense masses of men who will be mobilised at the out- 
break of war. Let us now proceed to the third, and what 
to my mind constitutes far the most serious obstacle in 
the way of modern war — viz., the economic impossibility 
of waging war upon the scale on which it must be waged 
if it is waged at all. 

" The first thing to be borne in mind is that the 
next war will be a long war. It was the declared 
opinion of Moltke that the altered conditions of warfare 

xxxvili PREFACE 

rendered it impossible to hope that any decisive result 
could be arrived at before two years at the least. 
The Franco-German war lasted seven months, but there 
is no hope of any similar war being terminated so rapidly. 
Of course this is assuming that war is to be terminated 
by fighting. In reality the war of the future, if ever it 
takes place, will not be fighting ; it will be terminated by 

" Why should wars be so excessively prolonged ? " 
"Because all wars will of necessity partake of the 
character of siege operations. When we invaded Turkey 
in 1877 we were detained for months behind the impro- 
vised earthworks of Plevna. If war were to break out in 
Europe to-day, each combatant would find itself con- 
fronted, not by an isolated and improvised Plevna, but 
by carefully prepared and elaborately fortified networks 
of Plevnas. It is so on all frontiers. The system of 
defence has been elaborated with infinite skill and abso- 
lute disregard of financial considerations. Whether it 
will be a German army endeavouring to make its way into 
Moscow and St. Petersburg, or a Russian army striking 
at Berlin or at Vienna, or a German army invading 
France — in every case the invading army would find itself 
confronted by lines upon lines of fortresses and fortified 
camps, behind which would stand arrayed forces equal or 
superior in number to those which it could bring into the 
field against them. These fortresses would have to be 
taken or masked. 

" Now it is calculated that to take a modern fortress 
adequately defended, even by superior forces, is an opera- 
tion which cannot be put through in less than one hundred 
and twenty days — that is, supposing that everything goes 
well with the assailants. Any reverse or any interruption 

PREFACE xxxlx 

of the siege operations would, of course, prolong this 
period. But it is not merely that each fortress would 
have to be reduced, but every field would more or less 
become an improvised fortified camp. Even when an 
army was defeated it would retreat slowly, throwing up 
earthworks, behind which it would maintain a harassing 
fire upon its pursuers ; and the long line of invisible 
sharp-shooters, whose presence would not be revealed 
even by the tell-tale puff of smoke, would inevitably 
retard any rapid advance on the part of the victors. It 
is indeed maintained by many competent authorities that 
there is no prospect of the victorious army being able to 
drive the defeated forces from the field of battle so com- 
pletely as to establish itself in possession of the spoils of 
war. The advantage is always with the defending force, 
and every mile that the assailants advance from their 
base would increase their difficulties and strengthen their 
opponents. Long and harassing siege operations in a 
war of blockade would wear out the patience and exhaust 
the resources of armies." 

"But armies have stood long sieges before now," I 

"Yes," said M. Bloch, "in the past; but we are talking 
of the future. Do not forget that the wear and tear 
would be terrible, and the modern man is much less 
capable of bearing it than were his ancestors. The 
majority of the population tends more and more to 
gravitate to cities, and the city dweller is by no means so 
capable of lying out at nights in damp and exposed posi- 
tions as the peasant. Even in comparatively rapid cam- 
paigns sickness and exhaustion slay many more than 
either cold steel or rifle-bullets. It is inevitable that this 
should be the case. In two weeks' time after the French 


army is mobilised, it is the expectation of the best authori- 
ties that they would have 100,000 men in hospital, even 
if never a shot had been fired." 

"That I can well understand. I remember when 
reading Zola's ' La Debacle ' feeling that if the Germans 
had kept out of the way altogether and had simply 
made the French march after them hither and thither, 
the whole Napoleonic army would have gone to pieces 
before they ever came within firing distance of their 

"Yes," said M. Bloch. "The strain of marching is 
very heavy. Remember that it is not mere marching, but 
marching under heavy loads. No infantry soldier should 
carry more than one-third of his own weight ; but instead 
of the average burden of the fully accoutred private being 
52 lb. it is nearer 80 lb., with the result that the mere 
carrying of weight probably kills more than fall in battle. 
The proportion of those who die from disease and those 
who lose their lives as the consequence of wounds received 
in fighting is usually two or three to one. In the Franco- 
German war there were four times as many died from 
sickness and exhaustion as those who lost their lives in 
battle. In the Russo-Turkish war the proportion was as 
16 to 44. In the recent Spanish war in Cuba the propor- 
tion was still greater. There were ten who died from 
disease for one who fell in action. The average mortality 
from sickness tends to increase with the prolongation of 
the campaign. Men can stand a short campaign, but 
when it is long it demoralises them, destroys the spirit of 
self-sacrifice which sustained them at the first in the 
opening weeks, and produces a thoroughly bad spirit 
which reacts upon their physical health. At present there 
is some regard paid to humanity, if only by the provision 


of ambulances, and the presence of hospital attendants, 
nurses, and doctors. But in the war of the future these 
humanities will go the wall." 

" What ! " I said, " do you think there will be no care 
for the wounded ? " 

" There will be practically no care for the wounded," 
said M. Bloch, " for it will be impossible to find adequate 
shelter for the Red Cross hospital tent or for the hospital 
orderlies. It will be impossible to take wounded men out 
of the zone of fire without exposing the Red Cross men to 
certain death. The consequence is they will be left to lie 
where they fall, and they may lie for days. Happy they 
will be if they are killed outright. Why, even in the last 
great war the provision for attendance on the wounded 
was shamefully inadequate. After Gravelotte there were 
for some time only four doctors to attend to 10,000 
wounded men, and the state of things after Sadowa was 
horrible in the extreme. It is all very well to inveigh 
against this as inhumanity, but what are you to do when 
in the opinion of such a distinguished army physician as 
Dr. Billroth it would be necessary to have as many hos- 
pital attendants as there are soldiers in the fighting line ? 
What is much more likely to be done is that the dying 
and the dead will be utilised as ramparts to strengthen 
the shelter trenches. This was actually done at the 
battle of Worth, where Dr. Forth, chief military physician 
of the Bavarian army, reported that he found in some 
places in the battlefield veritable ramparts built up of 
soldiers who had fallen by the side of their comrades, and 
in order to get them out of the way they had piled them 
one upon the top of the other, and had taken shelter 
behind their bodies. Some of these unfortunates built 
into this terrible rampart were only wounded, but the 


pressure of the superincumbent mass soon relieved them 

from their sufferings." 

" What a horrible story ! " 

" Yes," said M. Bloch ; " but I believe that war will be 
decided not by these things— not even by fighting-men 
at all, but by the factors of which they at present take far 
too little account." 

" And what may those factors be ? " I asked. 

"Primarily, the quality of toughness or capacity of 
endurance, of patience under privation, of stubbornness 
under reverse and disappointment. That element in the 
civil population will be, more than anything else, the 
deciding factor in modern war. The men at the front 
will very speedily be brought to a deadlock. Then will 
come the question as to how long the people at home will 
be able to keep on providing the men at the front with the 
necessaries of life. That is the first factor. The second 
factor, which perhaps might take precedence of the moral 
qualities, is whether or not it is physically possible for 
the population left behind to supply the armies in front 
with what they need to carry on the campaign." 

" But have they not always done it in the past ? " 

M. Bloch shook his head impatiently. " What is the 
use of talking about the past when you are dealing with 
an altogether new set of considerations ? Consider for 
one moment what nations were a hundred years ago and 
what they are to-day. In those days before railways, 
telegraphs, steamships, &c., were invented, each nation 
was more or less a homogeneous, self-contained, self- 
sufficing unit. Europe was built in a series of water-tight 
compartments. Each country sufficed for its own needs, 
grew its own wheat, fattened its own cattle, supplied itself 
for its own needs within its own frontiers. All that is 

PREFACE xliii 

changed ; with the exception of Russia and Austria there 
is not one country in Europe which is not absolutely 
dependent for its beef and its bread supplies from beyond 
the frontiers. You, of course, in England are absolutely 
dependent upon supplies from over sea. But you are 
only one degree worse off than Germany in that respect. 
In 1895, if the Germans had been unable to obtain any 
wheat except that which was grown in the Fatherland, 
they would have lacked bread for one hundred and two 
days out of the three hundred and sixty-five. Every year 
the interdependence of nations upon each other for the 
necessaries of life is greater than it ever was before. 
Germany at present is dependent upon Russia for two 
and a half months' supply of wheat in every year. That 
supply would, of course, be immediately cut off if Russia 
and Germany went to war ; and a similar state of things 
prevails between other nations in relation to other com- 
modities. Hence the first thing that war would do would 
be to deprive the Powers that made it of all opportunity 
of benefiting by the products of the nations against whom 
they were fighting." 

"Yes," I objected, "but the world is wide, and would 
it not be possible to obtain food and to spare from neutral 
nations ? " 

" That assumes," said M. Bloch, " first that the 
machinery of supply and distribution remains unaffected 
by war. Secondly, that the capacity for paying for 
supplies remains unimpaired. Neither of those things is 
true. For you, of course, it is an absolute necessity 
that you should be able to bring in food from beyond 
the seas ; and possibly with the aid of your fleet you may 
be able to do it, although I fear the rate of war premium 
will materially enhance the cost of the cargoes. The 


other nations are not so fortunate. It was proposed some 
time ago, I know, in Germany, that in case of war they 
should endeavour to replace the loss of Russian wheat by 
importing Indian wheat through the Suez Canal — an 
operation which in the face of the French and Russian 
cruisers might not be very easy of execution. But even 
supposing that it was possible to import food, who is to 
pay for it? And that is the final crux of the whole 

" But," again I objected, " has the lack of money ever 
prevented nations going to war ? I remember well when 
Lord Derby, in 1876, was quite confident that Russia 
would never go to war on behalf of Bulgaria because of 
the state of the Russian finances ; but the Russo-Turkish 
war took place all the same, and there have been many 
great wars waged by nations which were bankrupt, and 
victories won by conquerors who had not a coin in their 

"You are always appealing to precedents which do not 
apply. Modern society, which is organised on a credit 
basis, and modern war, which cannot be waged excepting 
at a ruinous expenditure, offer no points of analogy 
compared with those times of which you speak. Have 
you calculated for one moment what it costs to maintain 
a soldier as an efficient fighting man in the field of 
battle ? The estimate of the best authorities is that you 
cannot feed him and keep him going under ten francs a 
day — say, eight shillings a day. Supposing that the Triple 
and Dual Alliance mobilise their armies, we should have at 
once confronting us an expenditure for the mere mainten- 
ance of troops under arms of ;^4,ooo,ooo a day falling 
upon the five nations. That is to say, that in one year of 
war under modern conditions the Powers would spend 


;^i,46o,cxx>,ooo sterling merely in feeding their soldiers, 
without reckoning all the other expenses that must be 
incurred in the course of the campaign. This figure is 
interesting as enabling us to compare the cost of modern 
wars with the cost of previous wars. Take all the wars 
that have been waged in Europe from the battle of 
Waterloo down to the end of the Russo-Turkish war, and 
the total expenditure docs not amount to more than 
;^ 1, 2 50,000,000 sterling, a colossal burden no doubt, but 
one which is nearly ;{; 200,000,000 less than that which 
would be entailed by the mere victualling of the armies 
that would be set on foot in the war which we are 
supposed to be discussing. Could any of the five nations, 
even the richest, stand that strain ? " 

" But could they not borrow and issue pap)er money ? " 

"Very well," said M. Bloch, " they would try to do so, 
no doubt, but the immediate consequence of war would 
be to send securities all round down from 25 to 50 per 
cent., and in such a tumbling market it would be diflicult 
to float loans. Recourse would therefore have to be had 
to forced loans and unconvertible paper money. We 
should be back to the days of the assignats, a temporary 
expedient whicli would aggravate the difficulties with 
which we have to deal. Prices, for instance, would go up 
enormously, and so the cost, 8s. a day, would be nearer 
20s. if all food had to be paid for in depreciated currency. 
But, apart from the question of paying for the necessary 
supplies, it is a grave question whether such supplies 
could be produced, and if they could be produced, 
whether they could be distributed." 

" What do you mean by ' distributed ' ? " I asked. 

" Distributed ? " said M. Bloch. " Why, how are you 
to get the food into the mouths of the people who want it 


if you had (as you would have at the beginning of the 
war) taken over all the railways for military purposes ? 
Even within the limits of Germany or of Russia there 
would be considerable difficulty in securing the transit of 
food-stuffs in war time, not merely to the camps, but to 
the great industrial centres. You do not seem to realise 
the extent to which the world has been changed by the 
modern industrial system. Down to the end of the last 
century the enormous majority of the population lived in 
their own fields, grew their own food, and each farm was 
a little granary. It was with individuals as it was with 
nations, and each homestead was a self-contained, self- 
providing unit. But nowadays all is changed. You have 
great industrial centres which produce absolutely nothing 
which human beings can eat. How much, for instance, 
do you grow in the metropolitan area for the feeding of 
London ? Everything has to be brought by rail or by 
water to your markets. So it is more or less all over the 
Continent, especially in Germany and France. Now it so 
happens (and in this I am touching upon the political side 
of the question) that those districts which produce least 
food yield more Socialists to the acre than any other part 
of the country. It is those districts, rife with all elements 
of poHtical discontent, which would be the first to feel the 
pinch of high prices and of lack of food. But this is a 
matter on which we will speak later on." 

" But do you think," I said, " that the railways would 
be so monopolised by the military authorities that they 
could not distribute provisions throughout the country ? " 

"No," said M. Bloch. "It is not merely that they 
would be monopolised by their military authorities, but 
that they would be disorganised by the mobilisation of 
troops. You forget that the whole machinery of distribu- 


tion and of production would be thrown out of gear by 
mobilisation ; and this brings me to the second point 
upon which I insist — viz., the impossibility of producing 
the food. At the present moment Germany, for instance, 
just manages to produce sufficient food to feed her own 
population, with the aid of imports from abroad, for 
which she is able to pay by the proceeds of her own 
industry. But in the case of war with Russia she would 
not be able to buy two and a half months' supply of 
wheat from Russia, and therefore would have to pay 
much more for a similar supply of food in the neutral 
markets, providing she could obtain it. But she would 
have to buy much more than two and a half months' from 
Russia, because the nine months' corn which she pro- 
duces at present is the product of the whole labour of all 
her able-bodied agricultural population ; and how they 
work you in England do not quite realise. Do you know, 
for instance, that after the * Biisstag,' or day of penitence 
and prayer, at the beginning of what we call the farmers' 
year or summer season, the whole German agricultural 
population in some districts work unremittingly fifteen 
hours a day seven days a week, without any cessation, 
without Sundays or holidays, until the harvest is gathered 
in ; and even with all that unremitting toil they are only 
able to produce nine months' supply of grain. When you 
have mobilised the whole German army, you will diminish 
at least by half the strong hands available for labour 
in the field. In Russia we should not, of course, be in 
any such difficulty, and in the scrupulous observance of 
Sunday we have a reser\-e which would enable us to 
recoup ourselves for the loss of agricultural labour. We 
should lose, for instance, 17 per cent, of our peasants; 
but if those who were left worked on Sunday, in addition 

xlviii PREFACE 

to weekdays, we should just be able to make up for the 
loss of the men who were taken to war. Germany has 
no such reserves, nor France ; and hence it is that, speak- 
ing as a political economist, I feel extremely doubtful as 
to whether it would be possible for either Germany or 
France to feed their own population, to say nothing of 
their own soldiers, when once the whole machine of 
agricultural production had been broken up by the 
mobilisation en masse of the whole population." 

" But has this point never been considered by the 
sovereigns and statesmen of Europe ? " I inquired. 

" You know," replied M. Bloch, " how it is with human 
beings. We shall all die, but how few care to think of 
death ? It is one of the things inevitable which no one 
can alter by taking thought. So it is with this question. 
War once being regarded as unavoidable, the rulers shut 
their eyes to its consequences. Only once in recent 
history do I remember any attempt on the part of a 
European Government gravely to calculate the economic 
consequences of war under modern conditions. It was 
when M. Burdeau was in the French Ministry. He 
appointed a committee of economists for the purpose of 
ascertaining how the social organism would continue to 
function in a time of war, how from day to day their 
bread would be given to the French population. But no 
sooner had he begun his investigation than a strong 
objection was raised by the military authorities, and out 
of deference to their protests the inquiry was indefinitely 
suspended. Hence we are going forward blindfold, pre- 
paring all the while for a war without recognising the fact 
that the very fundamental first condition of being able to 
wage it does not exist. You might as well prepare for a 
naval war without being sure that you have a sea in 


which your ships can float as to continue to make pre- 
parations for a land war unless you have secured in 
advance the means by which your population shall live. 
Every great State would in time of war be in the position 
of a besieged city, and the factor which always decides 
sieges is the factor which will decide the modern war. 
Your soldiers may fight as they please; the ultimate 
decision is in the hands oi famine ^ 

" Well, it is an old saying that ' armies always march 
upon their bellies,' " said I. " ' Hunger is more terrible 
than iron, and the want of food destroys more armies than 
battles,' was a saying of the first Napoleon, which holds 
good to-day." 

" But," interrupted M. Bloch, " I am not speaking so 
much of the armies, I am speaking of the population that 
is behind the armies, which far outnumbers the armies and 
which is apt to control the policy of which the armies are 
but the executive instrument. How long do you think the 
populations of Paris or of Berlin or of the great manufac- 
turing districts in Germany would stand the doubling of 
the price of their food, accompanied, as it would be, by a 
great stagnation of industry and all the feverish uncer- 
tainty and excitement of war ? 

" What is the one characteristic of modern Europe ? Is 
it not the growth of nervousness and a lack of phlegmatic 
endurance, of stoical apathy ? The modern European feels 
more keenly and is much more excitable and impres- 
sionable than his forefathers. Upon this highly excitable, 
sensitive population you are going to inflict the miseries of 
hunger and all the horrors of war. At the same time you 
will enormously increase their taxes, and at the same time 
also you will expose your governing and directing classes 
to more than decimation at the hands of the enemy's sharp- 


shooters. How long do you think your social fabric will 
remain stable under such circumstances ? Believe me, 
the more the ultimate political and social consequences of 
the modern war are calmly contemplated, the more clearly 
will it be evident that if war is possible it is only possible, 
as I said before, at the price of suicide." 

"From which, therefore, it follows, in your opinion, 
M. Bloch, that the Peace Conference has not so much to 
discuss the question of peace as to inquire into whether or 
not war is possible ? " 

" A committee of experts, chosen from the ablest repre- 
sentatives of the Powers sent to the Hague," replied M. 
Bloch, "would have very Httle difficulty in coming to a 
conclusion upon the facts which I have just set forth in my 
book. Those experts might be soldiers and political 
economists, or the inquiry might be divided into two heads, 
and the two questions relegated to different committees of 
specialists. I am quite sure that, as the result of such a 
dispassionate international investigation into the altered 
conditions of the problem, they could only arrive at one 
conclusion — viz., that the day when nations could hope to 
settle their disputes by appealing to the arbitrament of war 
has gone by : first, because from that tribunal no definite 
decision can speedily be secured ; and secondly, the costs 
of the process are ruinous to both the suitors." 

" It is rather a happy idea, that of yours, M. Bloch," 
said I, " that of the last Court of Appeal of nations having 
broken down by the elaboration of its own procedure, the 
excessive costliness of the trial, and, what is much more 
serious than anything else, the impossibility of securing a 
definite verdict. Hitherto the great argument in favour of 
war is that it has been a tribunal capable of giving un- 
mistakably a decision from which there was no appeal." 


*' Whereas, according to my contention," said M. Bloch, 
" war has become a tribunal which by the very perfection 
of its own processes and the costliness of its methods can 
no longer render a decision of any kind. It may ruin 
the suitors, but the verdict is liable to be indefinitely 

"Therefore the ultimate Court of Appeal having broken 
down," I said, " it is necessary to constitute another, 
whose proceedings would not be absolutely inconsistent 
with economic necessity or with the urgent need for 
prompt and definite decision. But if this be admitted, 
what immense world-wide consequences would flow from 
such a decision." 

" Yes," said M. Bloch, " the nations would no longer go 
on wasting ;^2 50,000,000 sterling every year in preparing 
to wage a war which can only be waged at the price 
of suicide, that is to say, which cannot be waged at all, 
for no nation willingly commits suicide. Then we may 
hope for some active effort to be made in the direction of 
ameliorating the condition of the people. The fund 
liberated from the war-chest of the world could work 
mai-vels if it were utilised in the education of the people. 
At present, as you will see from the tables which I have 
compiled in my book, the proportion of money spent on 
education compared with that spent on war is very small. 
In Russia, for instance, we have an immense deal to do in 
that direction. In some provinces no fewer than 90 per 
cent, of the recruits are illiterate. In fact, as you will 
see from what I have written, I have been as much at- 
tracted to this subject from the desire to improve the con- 
dition of the people as from any other source. Hence my 
book took in part the shape of an investigation of the 
moral, social, and material conditions in which the masses 


of the Russian peasants pass their lives. It is a painful 
picture, and one that cannot fail profoundly to touch the 
hearts of all those who have followed the results of my 
investigation. The condition of the mass of the people in 
every country leaves much to be desired, but especially is 
this the case in my own country, where the resources of 
civilisation have hardly been drawn upon for the improve- 
ment of the condition of the peasants." 

'• Yet, M. Bloch, I think I gather from you that Russia 
was better able to support a war than more highly 
organised nations." 

'* You are quite right," said M. Bloch. " It is true that 
Russia can, perhaps better than all other countries, con- 
template the dangers or impossibilities of modern war; 
but that is precisely because she is not so highly organised 
and so advanced or developed in civilisation as her neigh- 
bours. Russia is the only country in Europe which pro- 
duces sufficient food for her own people. She is not only 
able to produce enough grain to feed her own people, but 
she exports at present four millions of tons every year. 
A war which stopped the export trade would simply place 
this immense mass of food at the disposal of our own 
people, who would be more in danger of suffering from a 
plethora of food than from a scarcity. But nevertheless, 
although this is the case, the very backwardness of Russia 
renders it more important that she should avoid exposing 
her nascent civilisation to the tremendous strain of a great 
war. Practically we may be invulnerable, but if, when 
having beaten back our invaders, we were to endeavour in 
turn to carry the war across our frontiers, we should find 
ourselves confronted by the same difificulties which make 
offensive war increasingly difficult, not to say impossible. 
Neither is there any conceivable territorial or political 


result attainable by force of arms here or in Asia which 
would be any adequate compensation for the sacrifices 
which even a victorious war would entail." 

"All this may be true, but nations do not always count 
the cost before going to war." 

" No," said M. Bloch ; " if they did, they would very 
seldom go to war. Take, for instance, the civil war in 
the United States of America. According to some calcu- 
lations it would have cost the United States four milliards 
of francs, that is to say ;{; 160,000,000 sterling, to have 
bought up all their slaves at ;i^200 a head, and emancipated 
them. Instead of taking that method of solving a danger- 
ous and delicate problem, they appealed to the sword, 
with the result that it is estimated that the war occasioned 
the country losses of one kind and another amounting to 
twenty-five milliards of francs, or ;^ 1, 000,000,000 sterling, 
to say nothing of all the bloodshed and misery entailed 
by that war. The cost of emancipation thus ciphered out 
at ;^i200 a head per slave instead of ;^200 per head, at 
which the bargain could easily have been arranged. The 
economic condition of our peasants in many of our pro- 
vinces," continued M. Bloch, " is heartrending. Their 
ignorance, their innocence, their simplicity, render them 
an easy prey to money-lenders, who have in many cases 
succeeded in establishing a veritable system of slave 

"How could that be?" I asked. "The serfs were 
emancipated in 1861." 

"Yes," said M. Bloch, " they were emancipated, but 
their emancipation without education left them an easy 
prey to the Kulaks, who advance money upon their labour. 
A peasant, for instance, has to pay his taxes, say, in winter 
time, and the Kulak will advance the twenty or thirty 


roubles which he may have to pay in return for what is 
called his 'summer labour.' The price of labour in 
Russia in summer is twice or thrice as much as it is in 
winter. The Kulak buys the summer labour at the winter 
rates, and then having purchased in advance the summer 
labour of the unfortunate peasant, he collects his chattels 
in droves and farms them out wherever he can dispose of 
them. It is veritable slavery. But even this is less terri- 
ble than that which can be witnessed in some provinces, 
where parents sell their children to speculators, who buy 
them up and send them to St. Petersburg and Moscow as 
calves are sent to market, where they are sold out for a 
term of years as apprentices to those who have no 
scruples against securing cheap labour on those terms. 

" No one who has seen anything of the squalor and 

wretchedness, the struggle with fever and famine, in the 

rural districts of Russia, especially when there has been a 

failure of harvest, can be other than passionate to divert 

for the benefit of the people some of the immense volume 

of wealth that is spent in preparing for this impossible war. 

The children of most Russian peasants come into the 

world almost like brute beasts, without any medical or 

skilled attendance at childbirth, and they are brought up 

hard in a way that fortunately you know little of in wealthy 

England. Can you imagine, for instance," said M. Bloch, 

speaking with great fervour and feeling, " the way in 

which infants are left inside the home of most Russian 

peasants, whose mothers have to leave them to labour in 

the fields ? The child is left alone to roll about the earthen 

floor of the hut, and as it will cry for hunger, poultices of 

chewed black bread are tied round its hands and feet, so 

that the little creature may have something to suck at until 

its mother comes back from the fields. At every stage in 


life you find the same deplorable lack of what more 
prosperous nations regard as indispensable to human 
existence. In some provinces we have only thirty-seven 
doctors per million inhabitants, and as for nurses, school- 
masters, and other agents of civilisation, there are whole 
vast tracts in which they are absolutely unknown. All 
this makes our population hardy, no doubt — those who 
survive ; but the infant mortality is frightful, and the life 
which the survivors lead is very hard and sometimes very 

" The contrasts between the vital statistics of Russia 
and of France are, I suppose, about as wide as could be 

" Yes," said M. Bloch. " But although the French 

system of limiting the family and keeping infant mortality 

down to a minimum has some great advantages, it has 

great disadvantages. In a limited family much greater 

pains are taken to preserve the life of the sickly children. 

Hence, instead of allowing them to be eliminated by 

natural process, whereby the race would be preserved from 

deterioration, they are sedulously kept alive, and the 

vitality of the nation is thereby diminished. In other 

respects our Russian people are very different from what 

you imagine. For instance, it may surprise you, but it is 

undoubtedly true, that the amount of spirit consumed by 

our people is very much less per head than that which is 

drunk in England, and also that the number of illegitimate 

births in Russia is lower per thousand than in an other 

country in Europe. This is due to the prevalence of early 

marriages, for our people marry so early that when our 

young men are taken for the army from 30 to 60 per cent. 

are married before they enter the ranks. You may smile," 

said M. Bloch, " at me for thinking that those questions 


must be considered in a discussion of the future war ; but 
it is the moral stamina of a population which will ultimately 
decide its survival, and I therefore could not exclude the 
discussion of all the elements which contribute to the well- 
being of a population in endeavouring to forecast the future 
of war." 

" Now, M, Bloch, let us turn to another subject. We 
have talked hitherto about armies, and only about armies. 
What is your idea about navies ? " 

" My idea about a navy," said M. Bloch, " is that unless 
you have a supreme navy, it is not worth while having 
one at all, and that a navy that is not supreme is only a 
hostage in the hands of the Power whose fleet is supreme. 
Hence, it seems to me that for Russia to spend millions 
in the endeavour to create a deep-sea fleet of sea-going 
battleships is a great mistake. The money had much 
better be used for other purposes." 

" What ! " said I, " then, do you not think that Russia 
needs a navy ? " 

"A navy, yes," said M. Bloch, "a navy for coast 
defence, perhaps, and also cruisers, but a fighting fleet of 
battleships, no. It is a folly to attempt to create such a 
navy, and the sooner that is recognised the better." 

"But," I persisted, "do you not agree with Captain 
Mahan in thinking that sea-power is the dominant factor 
in the destiny of nations ? " 

" Do not let us theorise ; let us look at facts," said M. 
Bloch. " What I see very plainly is that the navy may 
be almost ignored as a vital factor in a war to the death 
between Russia and any of her neighbours. Suppose, 
for instance, that we had a war with Germany. What 
would be the good of our fleet? Suppose that it is 
inferior to that of Germany, it will be either captured, or 


shut up in harbour, unable to go out. If it is superior to 
that of Germany, what better are we ? Here we have 
history to guide us. We cannot hope to have such an 
unquestioned superiority at sea over the Germans as the 
French had in the war of 1870; but what use was the 
naval supremacy of France to the French in their death- 
grapple with the Germans ? Why, so far from finding 
them useful, they absolutely laid their ironclads up in 
harbour and sent their crews to Paris to assist in the 
defence of the capital— and they did riglit. Germany was 
striking at the heart of France when she struck at Paris, 
and no amount of superiority over the German fleet on 
the part of the French could be counted for a moment as 
a set-off against the loss of their capital. So it will 
always be." 

"But," I objected, "could the German fleet not be 
utilised for the purpose of landing an expedition on the 
Russian coast ? " 

" No doubt," said M. Bloch, " it might. But here again 
I may quote Count Moltke. When, in 1870, we were 
discussing the possibility of a French expedition to the 
shores of the Baltic, Moltke declared that, so far from 
regarding such an expedition with alarm, he would rather 
welcome it, because any diversion of French forces from 
the point where the decisive blow must be delivered 
would increase the German chances of success. Hence, 
if the Germans were to send an expeditionary force to 
Russian v^aters, it would only represent the subtraction of 
so many fighting men from the seat of war, where the 
real issue of the campaign would be decided. No; 
Russia would have no reason to fear any serious attack 
from the sea. That being so, what is the use of wasting 
all our resources upon ironclads which we could not use ? 


It would have been much better to have gone on piling 
up expenditure on our army much more rapidly than we 
have upon our fleet. In 1876 we spent twenty-seven 
million roubles on the navy, and twenty years later we 
were spending sixty-seven millions, so that the naval 
expenditure had more than doubled, while the expenditure 
on the army had only increased fifty per cent." 

" Do you not think that a German, British, or Japanese 
fleet might seriously injure Russia by bombarding the coast 
towns ? " 

" No," said M. Bloch. " Such coast towns as we have, 
and they are not many, are for the most part well 
defended, too well defended to be seriously attacked by 
an enemy's fleet. The experience of Crete does not 
increase our dread of the bombarding ironclad as a 
method likely to affect the issues of a campaign. Why, is 
it not true that the international fleet on one occasion fired 
70 shells and only killed three men and wounded 15?" 

"And what about the protection of your commerce, 
M. Bloch ? " 

" The protection of our commerce would have to be 
undertaken (if undertaken at all) by cruisers and not by 
battleships. Besides, there should be some regard paid 
to the value of the thing protected, and the insurance 
which you pay for it. At this moment our oversea 
mercantile marine is small, so small compared with that 
of England that, although you are spending twice as 
much on your navy as we do, your naval insurance rate 
(if we may so call it) only amounts to 16 francs per ton 
of merchant shipping, whereas with us the rate is as high 
as 1 30 francs ; or if it is reckoned by a percentage upon 
the trade, our naval expenditure is twice as high as yours. 
And to what purpose ? " 


" But, M. Bloch, supposing that our fleet is inferior in 
strength to the German fleet, and that it is wiped off the 
face of the sea. What then ? " 

" What then ? " said M. Bloch. "Why, we shall just 
be in the position that the Italians were in when they lost 
their fleet at Lissa to the Austrians. But what eflect had 
that decisive naval victory upon the fortunes of the 
campaign ? The fate of Austria was sealed by the 
battle of Sadowa, and all naval losses which we might 
incur would naturally be charged for in the indemnity 
which we should impose upon our defeated enemy if we 
came off victorious, and if we were beaten on land our 
defeat at sea would not be a material aggravation of our 

"But, M. Bloch, do not you think that you need a 
strong fleet in order to keep your channels of trade 

? " 


" 1 do not believe," said M. Bloch, " that you can keep 
your channels of trade open, even with the strongest 
fleet. I grant that if you have a supreme fleet, you may 
at least have a chance of keeping the trade routes open, 
but if you have not a supreme fleet (and for Russia this 
is out of the question) you can do nothing, and Russia, 
fortunately being self-contained and self-supporting, could 
manage to subsist better, if her oversea trade were cut 
off, than any other country." 

"Then how would you apply your reasoning to 
England ? " 

" England," said M. Bloch, " is in a different category 
from all the other nations. You only grow enough bread 
in your own country to feed your people for three months 
in the year. If you do not command the seas, if you 
cannot bring to your markets the food of the world, you 


are in the position of a huge beleaguered fortress with 
only three months' rations for the whole people. If you 
ask my opinion, I tell you frankly that I do not think 
your position is very enviable, not because of any danger 
from invasion, for I recognise the superiority of your fleet, 
but because it seems to me that any nation is in a very 
precarious position which huS to depend for so much of 
its food upon countries across the sea. A single cruiser 
let loose upon one of your great trade routes would send 
up the price of provisions enormously, and although no 
one could hope to blockade the English ports, any inter- 
ruption in the supply of raw material, any interference 
with the stream of food products which are indispensable 
for the sustenance of your people, would endanger you 
far more than the loss of a pitched battle. 

" It is true that you are prosperous ; but there are many 
elements in your population the material condition of 
which leaves much to be desired, and with the stress and 
strain of industrial stagnation, caused by the closing of 
markets abroad and the rise in the price of food which 
would be inevitable under any circumstances, you might 
have as considerable internal difficulties as any of those 
which threaten your neighbours. But, there again, if 
(which God forbid) England should find herself at war, 
the factor which will decide the issue will not be the 
decisive battle ; it will be pressure of want, the lack of 
food, in short, the economic results which must inevitably 
follow any great war in the present complex state of 
human civilisation. 

" In short," said M. Bloch, " I regard the economic 
factor as the dominant and decisive element in the matter. 
You cannot fight unless you can eat, and at the present 
moment you cannot feed your people and wage a great 


war. To a certain extent this is already recognised, so 
much so that there are a few general principles that it is 
worth while mentioning. First, you may take it for 
granted that the great war, if it ever breaks out, will not 
take place until after the harvest has been gathered. To 
mobilise in spring, or in early summer, would bring 
starvation too closely home to the population for any 
statesman to think of it. Secondly, whenever there is a 
bad harvest you may be sure there will be no war. Even 
with a full granary it will be very difficult for any nation 
to feed its troops, to say nothing of its home population. 
With a bad harvest it would be impossible. Hence, if 
ever you should see a rapid buying-up of bread-stuffs on 
the part of any nation, you may feel sure that there is 
danger ahead ; but so long as there is no attempt made to 
secure reserve supplies of grain, you may regard with 
comparative equanimity the menaces of war." 

" Then, on the whole, you are hopeful concerning the 
future, M. Bloch ? " 

" Yes," said he ; *' hopeful with the hope that is born 
not of fantasy or of Utopian dreaming, but from the 
painstaking examination of hard, disagreeable facts. The 
soldier is going down and the economist is going up. 
There is no doubt of it. Humanity has progressed beyond 
the stage in which war can any longer be regarded as a 
possible Court of Appeal. Even military service has lost 
much of its fascination. At one time war appealed to the 
imagination of man, and the poets and painters found no 
theme so tempting as depicting the heroism of the 
individual warrior, whose courage and might often turned 
the tide of battle and decided the destiny of nations. All 
that has long gone by the board. War has become more 
and more a matter of mechanical arrangement. Modern 


battles will be decided, so far as they can be decided at 
all, by men lying in improvised ditches which they have 
scooped out to protect themselves from the fire of a 
distant and invisible enemy. All the pomp and circum- 
stance of glorious war disappeared when smokeless 
powder was invented. As a profession militarism is 
becoming less and less attractive. There is neither booty 
to be gained, nor promotion, with an ever increasing 
certainty of a disagreeable death, should war ever take 


" The old toast in the British Army used to be," I said, 
" * Bloody war and quick promotion.' " 

"Yes," said M. Bloch, "as long as bloody war only 
killed out a certain percentage it meant more rapid 
promotion for the rest, but if it kills out too many the 
attraction fails, for there is no promotion to a dead man. 
Side by side with the drying up of the attractiveness of a 
military career there has gone on an increasing agitation 
against the whole system, an agitation which finds its 
most extreme exponents among the Socialists, whose 
chief stock-in-trade is to dwell upon the waste of industrial 
resources caused by the present organisation of society 
on a competitive basis, which they maintain naturally 
and necessarily results in the excessive burdens of our 
armed peace. What the Governments will all come to 
see soon more or less clearly is that if they persist in 
squandering the resources of their people in order to 
prepare for a war which has already become impossible 
without suicide, they will only be preparing the triumph 
of the socialist revolution." 


Natural philosophers declare that the atmosphere 
reveals at times the presence of a certain so-called 
cosmic dust. It influences the change of colours 
in the sky, it colours the sunlight with a bloody 
line, it penetrates our dwellings and our lungs, 
acts injuriously upon living organisms, and, falling 
even upon the summits of hills, leaves its traces 
upon their mantles of virgin snow. 

In the public and private life of modern Europe 
somethine of the same kind reveals itself. A 
presentiment is felt that the present incessant 
growth of armaments must either call forth a war, 
ruinous both for conqueror and for conquered, 
and ending perhaps in general anarchy, or reduce 
the people to the most lamentable condition. 

Is this unquiet state of mind the consequence 
of a mistaken or sickly condition of the nervous 
system of the modern man ? Or is it justified by 
possible contingencies ? 


Such questions cannot be answered categori- 
cally. All would desire that the dangers caused 
by armaments were but a symptom which time 
will destroy. But even an unanimous desire 
cannot have the power to change the great con- 
catenation of circumstances which are the cause of 
armaments, until the time shall come when, in the 
words of Von Thunen, the interests of nations and 
the interests of humanity shall cease to contend 
with one another, and culture shall have 
awakened a sense of the solidarity of the interests 
of all. 

Such a state of affairs is unhappily still distant. 
It is true that the ruinousness of war under 
modern conditions is apparent to all. But this 
gives no sufficient guarantee that war will not 
break forth suddenly, even in opposition to the 
wishes of those who take part in it. Involuntarily 
we call to mind the words of the great Bacon, 
that " in the vanity of the world a greater field of 
action is open for folly than for reason, and 
frivolity always enjoys more influence than judg- 
ment." To-day these words are even more 
apposite than in the past. For Reason itself it is 
harder than before to find a path in the field 
of circumstances which change for ever. The 
speed with which relations chancre is a character- 
istic feature of our time. In modern times a few 


years see greater changes in the material and 
moral condition of masses than formerly took 
place in the course of centuries. This greater 
mobility of contemporary life is the consequence 
of better education, the activity of parliaments, of 
associations, and of the press, and the influence of 
improved communications. Under such influences 
the peoples of the world live lives not only their 
own, but the lives of others also ; intellectual 
triumphs, economic progress, materialised among 
one people, react at once on the condition of 
others ; the intellectual outlook widens as we 
ascend, as the seascape widens from a hill, and, 
like the sea, the whole world of culture drifts and 
fluctuates eternally. 

Every change in conditions or disposition Is 
affirmed only after a struggle of elements. An 
analysis of the history of mankind shows that 
from the year 1496 b.c. to the year 1861 of our 
era, that Is, in a cycle of 3357 years, were but 227 
years of peace and 3 1 30 years of war : In other 
words, were thirteen years of war for every year 
of peace. Considered thus, the history of the 
lives of peoples presents a picture of uninterrupted 
struggle. War, It would appear, is a normal 
attribute to human life. 

The position now has changed In much, but 
still the new continues to contend with the 


remnants of the old. The old order has changed 
and given place to the new. Sieyes compared 
the old order of things with a pyramid standing 
upon its apex, declaring that it must be given a 
more natural position and placed upon its base. 
This demand has been fulfilled in this sense, that 
the edifice of state has been placed upon founda- 
tions incomparably wider than before, affirmed on 
the rights and wills of millions of men, the so- 
named middle order of society. 

It is natural that the greater the number of 
voices influencing the course of affairs the more 
complex is the sum of interests to be considered. 
The economic revolution caused by the applica- 
tion of steam has been the cause of entirely new 
and unexpected conditions between the different 
countries of the world and between the classes 
inhabiting them, enriching and strengthening 
some, impoverishing and weakening others, in 
measure as the new conditions permitted to each 
participation in the new distribution of revenues, 
capital, and influence. 

With the innumerable voices which are now 
bound up in our public opinion, and the many 
different representatives of its interests, naturally 
appear very different views on militarism and its 
object, war. The propertied classes, in particular 
those whose importance and condition was 


established during the former distribution of 
power and former methods of acquisition, precisely 
those classes whom we call Conservatives, are 
inclined to confuse even the intellectual move- 
ment against militarism with aspirations for the 
subversion of social order. In this is sometimes 
given, they attribute, too great an importance to 
single and transitory phenomena, while no 
sufficient attention is turned on the dangerous 
fermentation of minds awakened by the present 
and constantly growing burdens of militarism. 

On the other hand, agitators, seeking influence 
on the minds of the masses, having deduced from 
the new conditions with recklessness and even 
intentional misrepresentation the most extreme 
conclusions, deny all existing rights, and promise 
to the masses more than the most perfect institu- 
tions could give them. In striving to arouse 
the masses against militarism such agitators un- 
ceremoniously ascribe to every thinker who does 
not share their views selfish impulses, although in 
reality he may be following sincere convictions. 

And althouofh the masses are slow to surrender 
themselves to abstract reasoning, and act usually 
only under the influence of passion or disaster, 
there can be no doubt that this agitation, cease- 
lessly carried on in parliaments, on platforms, and 
in the press, penetrates more and more deeply 


the people, and awakens in it those feelings which 
in the midst of the disasters called forth by war 
might easily lead them to action. The evil of 
militarism serves to-day as the chief instrument of 
the activity of agitators, and a tangible object for 
attack, while in reality these agitators strive not 
only for the suppression of militarism, but for the 
destruction of the whole social order. 

With such a position of affairs — that is, on the 
one hand, the ruinous competition in constantly 
increasing armaments, and, on the other, the 
social danger for all which grows under a general 
burden — it is necessary that influential and 
educated men should seriously attempt to give 
themselves a clear account of the effect of war 
under modern conditions ; whether it will be 
possible to realise the aims of war, and whether 
the extermination of millions of men will not be 
wholly without result. 

If, after consideration of all circumstances, we 
answer ourselves, " War with such conditions is 
impossible ; armies could not sustain those cata- 
clysms which a future war would call forth ; the 
civil population could not bear the famine and 
interruption of industry," then we might ask the 
general question : " Why do the peoples more 
and more exhaust their strength in accumulating 
means of destruction which are valueless even to 


accomplish the ends for which they are pre- 

It is very natural, that even a long time ago, in 
many Western European countries, in all ranks of 
society, many attempts have been made, partly 
theoretical and partly practical, to eliminate war 
from the future history of humanity. Philoso- 
phers and philanthropists, statesmen and revolu- 
tionaries, poets and artists, parliaments and 
congresses, more strongly and strongly every day 
insist upon the necessity of avoiding the blood- 
shed and disasters of war. 

A time was when it seemed protests against 
war were assuming practical importance. But 
the desire for revenge awakened by the events of 
1870 turned the disposition of peoples in another 
direction. Nevertheless the idea remains and 
continues to operate on minds. The voices of 
scholars and the efforts of philanthropists directed 
against war naturally found an echo among the 
lower orders of populations. In the twilight of 
imperfect knowledge fantastic visions appeared, 
of which agitators took advantage. This agita- 
tion increased every year. 

In recent times war has become even more 
terrible than before in consequence of perfected 
weapons of destruction and systems of equipment 
and training utterly unknown in the past. What 


is graver still, the immensity of armies and the 
traininor of soldiers in entrenchment must call 
forth difficulties in provisioning and defence from 
climatic conditions. 

It is true that certain military authors think 
that the bloodshed of the battlefield will be 
decreased in consequence of the greater distance 
between the combatants, that attacks by cavalry 
and with the bayonet are improbable in the 
present conditions of firearms, while retreat will 
be facilitated for a defeated army. But, even 
admitting this, which is by no means proved, 
there can be no doubt that with modern firearms 
the impression which battle makes on armies will 
be incomparably greater than before, while 
smokeless powder will change even the nature of 
these impressions. Infantry and artillery fire 
will have unprecedented force, while aid to the 
wounded will be made more difficult by the great 
range both of small-arms and of artillery. Smoke 
will no longer conceal from the survivors the 
terrible consequences of the battle, and every 
advance will be made with full appreciation of the 
probabilities of extermination. From this, and 
from the fact that the mass of soldiers will have 
but recently been called from the field, the factory, 
and the workshop, it will appear that even the 
psychical conditions of war have changed. Thus 


in the armies of Western states the agitation 
against war may extend even so far as the 
materialisation of sociaHstic theories subverting 
the bases of monarchies. 

The thought of those convulsions which will be 
called forth by a war, and of the terrible means 
prepared for it, will hinder military enterprise, 
notwithstanding the passionate relations of the 
people to some of the questions in dispute among 
them. But, on the other hand, the present con- 
ditions cannot continue to exist for ever. The 
peoples groan under the burdens of militarism. 
Europe is ever confronted with the necessity of 
drawing from the productive forces of the peoples 
new and new millions for military purposes. 
Hardly was the small-calibre rifle adopted when 
invention made a new advance, and there can be 
no doubt that soon the Great Powers will be com- 
pelled to adopt a weapon of still smaller calibre 
with double the present energy, allowing soldiers 
to carry a greater number of cartridges. At the 
same time we see in France and Germany pre- 
paration of new artillery to turn to the best 
advantage the new smokeless powder. Millions 
are expended on the construction of new batde- 
ships and cruisers. But every year brings such 
radical improvements in guns, in speed, and in 
coal-carrying capacity that vessels hardly launched 


are obsolete, and others must be built to replace 
them. In view of what we see in Germany, 
Italy, and Austria, we are compelled to ask, Can 
the present incessant demands for money from 
Parliament for armaments continue for ever 
without social outbreaks? And will not the 
present difficulty of carrying on war at last be 
replaced by an absolute impossibility, at least in 
those countries where high culture has increased 
the value of the life of every citizen ? Thus, in 
the war of the future will appear not only quanti- 
tative differences in the number of armies but 
also qualitative differences which may have im- 
mense importance. 

But what is still graver are the economic and 
social convulsions which war will call forth in 
consequence of the summons under the flag of 
almost the whole male population, the interrup- 
tion of maritime communications, the stagnation 
in industry and trade, the increase in the price of 
the necessaries of life, and the destruction of 
credit. Will these convulsions not be so great 
that governments will find it impossible in the 
course of time indicated by military specialists as 
the probable duration of war to acquire means for 
maintaining their armies, satisfy the requirements 
of budgets, and at the same time feed the desti- 
tute remainder of the civil population ? 


Within the last twenty-five years such changes 
have taken place in the very nature of military 
operations that the future war will in no way be 
like its predecessors. In consequence of the 
adoption of improved artillery, explosive shells, 
and small-arms which allow the soldier to carry 
an immense number of cartridges, in consequence 
of the absence of concealing smoke, in conse- 
quence of the immense proportions which military 
operations must take as a result of the vastness of 
armies, such unquestioned authorities on military^ 
affairs as Moltke and Leer and many other 
eminent military writers declare that a future war 
will last many years. 

But with modern political, social, and economic 
conditions it would be strange if there did not 
arise in England, Italy, Austria, Russia, Germany, 
and France — in one country from one reason, in 
another from another — factors which will dis- 
arrange the apparatus of war and prevent its 
continuance before the ends desired shall have 
been attained. This is a question of the first 
gravity, yet military writers entirely ignore it, 
attending only to the technical side of war. 

In consequence of alliances concluded, all plans 
of activity are founded on the combined opera- 
tions of allied armies. What will happen to 
combinations founded on united action when one 


or another of the allies Is compelled to cease 
operations through insufficient means for resisting 
the social influences of war ? 

Thus we find that military questions are bound 
up with questions of economy. But military 
writers look on the future war only from the 
point of view of attaining certain objects by 
destroying the armies of the enemy ; the economic 
and social consequences of war, if they are con- 
sidered at all, are considered only as secondary 
objects. Even economists, in consequence of the 
difficulty of such a question, have made no single 
investigation resulting in a complete picture of 
the consequences of war. But this is in no way 

Without acquaintance with the technicalities of 
warfare it is impossible to understand what will 
be its precise conditions, or to define the limits 
where the operation of defined laws will cease 
and accidental phenomena appear. A result could 
only be obtained by careful study of the very 
nature of war in all its phenomena. Twenty 
years ago such a task would have been compara- 
tively easy. But the last two decades have 
witnessed immense changes equal to revolutions. 
First of all a fundamental change has taken place 
in the very elements which take part in war and 
from which its course depends. In a future war 


on the field of battle, instead of professional 
soldiers, will appear whole peoples with all their 
peculiar virtues and failings. 

A full appreciation of the conditions of a future 
war is all the more difficult since on the one hand 
new methods of attack and defence, as yet in- 
sufficiendy tested, will be employed, and, on the 
other hand, because former wars were carried on 
by means of long-service professional soldiers. 
But not only will a future war take the character 
of a strue2:le of whole nations living a wide and 
complex life, with military problems correspond- 
ing in complexity, but the arms and apparatus 
of destruction are the very finest result of the 
inventiveness and creative activity of mankind. 

The elements contending in a future war will 
be all the moral and intellectual resources of 
nations, all the forces of modern civilisation, all 
technical improvements, feelings, characters, 
minds and wills — the combined fruit of the 
culture of the civilized world. It is thus that this 
question demands the attention of all society. In 
Western states, especially from the adoption of 
conscription, interest in military affairs has spread 
through all ranks of society. 

Reasoning on the basis of future wars, military 
writers declare that the chief elements of warfare, 
although only in their general character, must be 


made known to the population, which in the 
event of war constitutes the army, and from 
whose activity depends the issue of campaigns. 
It is not enough that officers and soldiers actually 
on service know what they are to meet in a 
future war. In the ranks of armies in time of 
war will appear an immense proportion of officers 
and men from the reserves, who for many years 
have taken no part in military exercises. As a 
consequence of this, in every state appear popular 
compositions with the object of informing the 
public of the technique of modern war, all, almost 
without exception, neglecting the economic side 
of the question. Some prejudge a future war 
from the example of history. Such neglect, as a 
rule, the improvement of weapons and the in- 
creased complexity of strategy and tactics. 
Others, well informed as to the improvement of 
weapons, but neglecting inevitable conclusions, 
assume that war will last but a short time, and 
therefore pay no attention to the financial and 
economic perturbation which it will cause or its 
effects on the moral condition of the people. 

The late General Fadeleff very justly pointed 
out the danger arising from such a state of affairs. 
" The opinion of the people of their strength has 
immense influence on the course of politics ; this 
opinion is often frivolous and unfounded, though 


from it may depend the destiny of nations. Yet 
it is generally agreed that even the elements of 
military affairs constitute a speciality which must 
remain unknown by the public. But when the 
moment comes to express its opinion on war and 
peace, to balance the chances of success, it may 
be assumed that of ten military specialists whose 
authority is accepted nine will adopt the opinions 
of the social medium in which they live. Thus a 
public, entirely ignorant of military questions, 
often becomes the deciding factor in decision. 
To free oneself from the influence of public 
opinion in such matters is impossible." It was 
with the object of making accessible in some 
degree information accumulated on all matters 
directly or indirectly connected with war that the 
present work was undertaken, of which this 
volume is but an abridgment. 

It is but a slight service to diagnose an illness 
and pronounce it incurable. The position of the 
European world, the organic strength of which is 
wasted, on the one hand, in the sacrifice of 
millions on preparations for war, and, on the 
other, in a destructive agitation which finds in 
militarism its apology and a fit instrument for 
acting on the minds of the people, must be ad- 
mitted to be abnormal and even sickly. Is it 
possible that there can be no recovery from this ? 


We are deeply persuaded that a means of 
recovery exists if the European states would but 
set themselves the question — in what will result 
these armaments and this exhaustion, what will 
be the nature of a future war, can resource be 
had to war even now for the decision of questions 
in dispute, and is it possible to conceive the 
settlement of such questions by means of the 
cataclysm which, with modern means of destruc- 
tion, a war between five Great Powers with ten 
millions of soldiers would cause ? 

Delay in the practical settlement of this ques- 
tion is impossible. And when a settlement is 
arrived at it will be shown that for twenty, forty 
years millions have been wasted yearly on fruit- 
less armaments which cannot be employed, and 
by means of which the decision of international 
disputes is inconceivable. But then it will be too 
late ; then such immense losses will have been 
sustained that Europe generally will be in a 
worse position than Italy to-day. Then, instead 
of the dangers of international war, other threaten- 
ing symptoms will have appeared. 

That war will become impossible in time — this 
is indicated by all. Its apparatus grows more 
rapidly than the productiveness of European 
states, and preparations will continue to swallow 
more and more of the income of peoples. Mean- 


time the relations of the nations become closer 
and closer, their interdependence more plain, and 
their solidarity in any great convulsion will con- 
stantly grow. 

That war will finally become impracticable is 
apparent. The question is more apposite — 
when will the recognition of this inevitable truth 
be spread among European governments and 
peoples ? When the impossibility of resorting to 
war for the decision of international quarrels is 
apparent to all, other means will be devised. 




In former times bullets, for a great part of their course, 
flew over the heads of the combatants, and were effective 
only for an insignificant distance. The modern bullet will 
strike all it meets for a distance of 660 yards, and after 
the introduction of the more perfect arms now in course of 
preparation the effective distance will be as great as 
1 2 10 yards. And as it is most improbable that on the 
field of battle it will not meet with a single living being in 
such a distance, we may conclude that every bullet will 
find its victim. 

The old powder was a mechanical mixture of nitre, 
sulphur, and charcoal, upon the ignition of which were 
liberated many elements which did not enter into new 
combinations. The new powder is a chemical combina- 
tion which gives scarcely any smoke and produces no 
empyreuma in the barrel. At the same time the explosive 
force of the new powder is much greater than that of the 
old, and its quality of smokelessness or of giving little 
smoke, in the first place, renders it impossible to judge of 
the position and forces of an enemy by smoke, and, in the 
second, frees the marksmen from the clouds of smoke 
which formerly were an obstacle to aiming. And as in the 
opinion of many authorities the last word concerning 
explosives has not yet been said, in the war of the future, 
especially if it should take place some years from now, 
explosives of such strength will be employed that the 
concentration of armies in the open field, or even under 
the cover of fortifications, will be almost impossible, so 


that the apparatus of war prepared at the present time 
may prove itself useless. 

The improvement of small arms goes forward with 
incredible speed. By the almost unanimous testimony of 
competent persons, the changes which took place in the 
course of five centuries cannot be compared in importance 
with those which have been made since the wars of 1870 
and 1877-78. The well-known specialist, Professor Gebler, 
made a comparison, expressed in figures, between different 
modern small arms, taking as his standard of effectiveness 
at 100 degrees the Mauser rifle, 11 mil., of 1871. On this 
basis he worked out the effectiveness of modern weapons 
as follows : 

The modern French rifle .... 
The modern German rifle .... 
The new rifles in use in Italy and Spain 
The 6-mil. rifle adopted by the United States 
The 5-mil. rifle now undergoing test . 





Therefore, if in the war of 1870 the German and French 
armies had been armed with weapons of modern type, 
speaking theoretically, the losses in that war would have 
been 4^ to 4I times greater than they actually were. Had 
they been armed with the 6-mil. rifle used in the United 
States of America the losses would have been ten times 

Nevertheless, specialists declare that the new weapons 
adopted in European armies, and even the 6 mil. rifle, are 
already obsolete, and that the future will see a self-loading 
weapon made out of an alloy of aluminium, from which a 
series of shots may be fired without taking the rifle from 
the shoulder or losing time and energy in reloading. 

Experiments made in Belgium with the new self- 
charging rifles and pistols of the Mauser system show 
that (firing only such a number of cartridges as wifl fit 
into the magazine) a trained soldier can fire from six to 
seven times a second ; upon shooting a greater number of 
cartridges from a gun, which requires reloading, the 
maximum number of shots with the 6-mil. gun is : 


Without aiming ... 78 per minute. 
Aiming 60 „ 

But the eflbrts to improve small arms do not stop there, 
and governments will continue to strive to lessen calibres, 
as is maintained by Professor Gebler, General Wille, 
Professor Pototski, and other authorities, to 4 and, it may 
be, even to 3 millimetres. It is true that there are great 
difficulties in the utilisation of such small calibres, but the 
successes already achieved by technical science may be 
taken to guarantee that these also will be surmounted. 

Such a weapon will excel the present in efficiency even 
more than the present rifle excels the past. The diminution 
of the calibre of rifles to 5 mil. makes it possible for a 
soldier to carry 270 cartridges, instead of the 84 which he ^ 
carried in 1877; the reduction of the calibre to 4 mil. 
would enable him to carry 380 cartridges ; while with the 
reduction of the calibre to 3 mil. the number of cartridges 
borne would increase to 575. In addition, the levelling of 
the trajectory of the bullet would give to shooting such dead- 
liness that it would be practically impossible to strengthen 
the fighting line with reserves. 

Professor Gebler declares that these improved weapons 
will be forty times more effective than those used in 1870. 
From this must result the complete re-armament of all 
armies, if before that time limits be not placed upon the 
rivalry of the nations in preparation for war. For the 
re-armament of their infantry, Germany, France, Russia, 
Austria, and Italy would, by our calculation, be com- 
pelled to spend the immense sum of ;^ 15 0,800, OCX). 

But, apart from future improvements in arms, it is 
easy to see with existing improvements the following 
consequences: (i) The opening of battles from much 
greater distances than formerly ; (2) the necessity of loose 
formation in attack ; (3) the strengthening of the defence ; 
(4) the increase in the area of the battlefield ; and (5) the 
increase in casualties. 

It is enough here to cite some statistics as to the action 
of modern arms as compared with the arms of 1870-71 
and 1877-78. Thus, the bullet of the Chassepot, the 


Berdan, or the Prussian needle-gun fired from a distance 
of 1760 yards could not penetrate a human skull, whereas 
the bullet of modern low-calibre rifles at a distance of 
3850 yards will penetrate the hard bones of an ox. 

But many military writers declare that the improvement 
in small arms will be neutralised by the fact that rapidity 
of fire will deprive the soldier of coolness and capacity to 
turn to account the superiority of the modern weapon. 

Let us admit for the moment that modern long-range 
rifles, even with their future improvements, will not prove 
more deadly in battle than their predecessors. Such an 
improbable and apparently unfounded proposition is 
directly refuted by the experience of the Chilian war of 
1 894. In that war the armies of the Congress were armed, 
partly with old, partly with modern weapons, and it was 
proven that each company of soldiers armed with rifles of 
a modern type put out of action 82 men in the armies of 
the President-Dictator, while a company of soldiers armed 
with obsolete weapons, put out of action only 34 men. 
The absence of smoke alone must increase immensely the 
deadliness of modern arms. The history of past battles 
relates that at a distance of sixty paces combatants often 
could not see one another, and that their fire proved in- 
effective. And even if long-range rifles do not prove 
more deadly than their predecessors, it will still be absurd 
to deny that a certain number of projectiles will disable a 
certain number of men. And as, in the wars of the present 
century, the number of shots fired for every disablement 
has fluctuated between 8h and 164, it is plain that the 
supply of cartridges now carried by each soldier is suffi- 
cient to disable at least one opponent ; while the supply of 
380 cartridges with the 4-mil. rifle, and of 575 with the 
3-mil. rifle, will be more than enough to disable two or 
three of the enemy. In other words, even supposing the 
effectiveness of modern arms to be in no way increased, 
the fire of one rifle may disable two or three of the enemy. 
From this it is plain that, even with the weapons now 
adopted, the effectiveness of fire presents the possibility of 
total mutual annihilation. 


Such is the comparison when regard is had alone to 
the increase in the supply of cartridges arising from the 
reduction of the calibre of rifles. 

But in addition we must take into account the rapidity 
with which modern weapons may be fired. In a given time 
twelve times as many shots may be fired as in 1867, while 
the chances of missing fire and of injury to the powder by 
damp have been removed. In addition to this must be 
borne in mind the long range of modern weapons, the 
absence of the accumulations in the barrel of the rifle, the 
adoption by officers of instruments for precisely ascertain- 
ing distances, the use by under-ofticers of field-glasses, and 
finally, the substitution of the old powder by smokeless 
powder. All these conditions will undoubtedly increase 
the number of losses, and if the operation of each were 
considered as a factor in multiplying past losses, we 
should attain almost incredible but technically and mathe- 
matically trustworthy figures. 

To this must be added the improvement, since 1870, in 
the instruction of soldiers in firing. In the training of 
soldiers every year an immense quantity of ammunition is 
expended. In addition, mechanical means are employed 
to show the direction of the barrel on aiming and firing. 
These are new conditions entirely, or in a great degree, 
unknown in the time of the last great wars. If we take 
into account the fact that 500 cartridges are prepared for 
every rifle, the expenditure of which, of course, is not 
stinted, we are confronted with a direct denial of the pos- 
sibiUty, even for armies of millions of men, in the event of 
equal strength, to sustain such losses. 

In addition to small arms the power of artillery has 
increased in a measure incomparable with the past. 

A glance backward at the development of field artillery 
shows that from the date of the invention of powder im- 
provements in arms took place very slowly. In imperfect 
weapons, it would seem, it would have been much easier 
to effect improvements. Nevertheless, to within a recent 
date, the effect of artillery fire remained very inconsiderable. 
In 1 891 Professor Langlois estimated the increase of 


the power of artillery fire since the war of 1870 in the 
following manner : With an equal number of discharges, 
modern artillery will be five times more effective than the 
artillery of 1870. But as modern field guns are capable of 
discharging in a given time from two to two and a half 
more projectiles than the old guns, it follows that the power 
ofartillery fire has multiplied since 1870 no less than from 
twelve to fifteen times. 

The calculations made by Professor Langlois in 1891 
are already out of date. In France, in Germany, and in 
Russia quick-firing guns are being made, and from the 
testimony of such authoritative writers as General Wille, 
Professor Pototski, and Captain Moch, we find that the 
fire of these new guns is at least twice as powerful as that 
of the gun of 1 891, of which Langlois speaks in the fol- 
lowing terms : '* We have before us a whole series of 
improvements of the greatest importance, and must admit 
that munitions of war are entirely different from those in 
use in the past." So that in order to form some idea as 
to the total losses in a future war it is necessary to com- 
pare the action of the latest perfected arms with the action 
of the old guns employed up to the present time. Such a 
comparison only shows that, as in the case of quick-firing 
rifles, the past can give no precise forecast as to the effect 
of artillery in future wars. 

With the introduction of smokeless powder and the 
employment of nickel steel on the one hand, and the 
strengthening by wire of the barrels of guns on the other, 
arms of tremendous power are being made. 

A comparison of the result of the firing of a thousand 
rifle bullets by soldiers attacking in loose formation with 
the action of shrapnel, shows that one round of shrapnel is 
effective over a space double the length of that covered by 
a thousand rifle bullets, and not less in width. Experi- 
ment has also shown that the fragments of shrapnel dis- 
perse themselves over a space 880 yards in length and 
440 yards in breadth. Prince Hohenlohe, commander of 
the German artillery in the war of 1870, in the most 
emphatic manner declared that •* a battery placed against 


a road fifteen paces in width might annihilate a whole 
mass of infantry on this road for a distance of 7700 yards, 
so that no one would even think of standing there." 

Not less are the successes attained in the improvement 
of projectiles. The use of steel in their manufacture 
permitted their being charged with a greater number 
of bullets. The use of explosives four times more power- 
ful than were formerly employed gave to each splinter 
and bullet immense force. The flight of bullets and 
splinters may be hkcned to the action of a sieve from 
which drops of water are driven. Imagine such a sieve 
revolving at great speed, and some idea will be gamed of 
the manner in which the fragments of shells would be 
dispersed. . 

In the war of the future, shell, which is much less effective 
than shrapnel, will be employed less than formerly. 
Shrapnel will be the chief ammunition of artillery, although 
if we believe French reports, it is proved that all in the 
vicinity of a bursting Brisant shell will be knocked down by 
the agitation of the atmosphere and sustain serious internal 
injuries, while in the case of the shell bursting in a covered 
space every one there will be killed either by the action o. 
mechanical forces, or by the poisonous gases liberated by 
the explosion. 

By a comparison of the effect of artillery ammunition 
with the effect of that employed in 1870, it is shown that, 
on the average, shells burst into 240 pieces instead 01 
19-30 as was the case in 1870. The shrapnel employed 
in 1870 burst into 37 pieces, now it gives as many as 340^ 
An iron bomb weighing 82 pounds, which, with the old 
powder gave 42 fragments, filled with pcroxylene gives 
1204 pieces. With the increase in the number of bullets 
and fragments, and in the forces which disperse them, 
increases also the area which they affect. Splinters and 
bullets bring death and destruction not only, as in 1870, to 
those in the vicinity of the explosion, but at a distance of 
220 yards away, and this though fired from a distance of 
3300 yards. 

With such improved ammunition the destruction pro- 


duced in the ranks of armies will be immense. From 
the statistics furnished by the Prussian General Rohne, 
we have estimated the losses which would be sustained 
by a body of 10,000 men attacking in loose formation 
a fortified position. From this estimate it is shown that 
before the attacking party succeeded in covering 2200 
yards in the direction of the defenders' trenches every 
individual composing it may be struck by bullets and 
fragments of shells, as the offenders' artillery in that time 
will have succeeded in firing 1450 rounds, scattering 
275,000 bullets and fragments, of which 10,330 will 
take effect in the attacking lines. 

But artillery fire will be directed not only against the 
attacking troops, which, when within range of the trenches 
may be destroyed by rifle fire, but also, to a greater extent, 
against supporting bodies which must follow in closer 
order, and among which, therefore, the action of artillery 
fire will be even more deadly. 

And as at the same time the quantity of artillery in all 
armies has considerably increased, we may well ask the 
question whether the nerves of short-service soldiers will 
stand the terrible destructiveness of its fire. 

The improvement, in all respects, of fire-arms, and 
the high degree of perfection achieved in artillery and 
artillery ammunition are by no means all that the 
mind of man has contrived as weapons of destruc- 
tion. The whole series of auxiliary instruments 
which in a future war may have immense importance 
has, since the last war, been improved. Velocipedes, 
carrier pigeons, field telegraphs and telephones, appa- 
ratus for signalling by day and by night, and for illu- 
minating the field of battle, photographic apparatus 
for the survey of positions from great distances, means of 
observing the movements of armies by the use of observa- 
tion scaffolding, ladders, watch towers and balloons — all 
in a great degree do away with that insufficiency of in- 
formation which formerly prevented united and successful 

As a necessary consequence of the increase in the 


power of fire, we find the more frequent and more ex- 
tended adoption of defences, and cover for protection in 
attack and for hampering the enemy. Even in times of 
peace, positions are prepared for the defence of certain 
points of the railways and main roads and of water com- 

In addition to this in the future war every body of men 
appointed for defence, and even for attack — if it is not to 
attack at once — must immediately entrench itself. It must 
dig, so to speak, in the earth its line of battle, and, if time 
permit, must raise a whole series of defensive points, 
taking advantage of natural obstacles, and perfecting them 
with defensive works. Sheltered behind such works, and 
in a position to devote all their energy to fire against the 
enemy, the defenders will sustain losses comparatively 
slight, only their heads and hands — that is, an eighth part 
of their height — being exposed, while the attacking bodies 
will be exposed to the uninterrupted fire of the defenders, 
and deprived almost of all possibility of replying to their 
fire. For the construction of such trenches and earth- 
works, each division of an army is now furnished with 
the requisite tools. 

In the opinion of competent military writers the war of 
the future vv'll consist primarily of a series of battles for 
the possession of fortified positions. In addition to field 
fortifications of different kinds, the attacking army will 
have to deal with auxiliary obstacles which will be met 
with in the neighbourhood of fortifications, that is, in the 
very position where they will be subjected to the greatest 
danger from the enemy's fire — obstructions formed of 
beams, networks of wire, and pit-falls. To overcome 
these obstacles great sacrifices must be made. 

The part of cavalry in a future war presents this primary 
difference with its part in the past. At the very beginning 
of war, and even before the attacking army has passed the 
frontier, it will be sent to make irruptions on the territory 
of the enemy, penetrating the country as far as possible, 
destroying communications, depots, and telegraphs, seizing 
government resources, and preventing the concentration of 


troops. After this the cavalry which follows as part of 
the constitution of the regular army will be employed in the 
making of reconnaisances. In a future war such duties 
will be undoubtedly more difficult than before, owing to 
the adoption of smokeless powder. Even after having 
determined the general position of an enemy, cavalry will 
hardly be in a condition to acquire any precise information, 
to determine his strength, and even the distance of his 
advanced posts. The pickets of the enemy will not stand 
in the open field, but under cover, behind eminences, 
groups of trees, and hedges. From a distance of a quarter 
of a mile the fire from the concealed pickets of the enemy 
will be very effective, yet the pickets themselves will be 
invisible. In all probability pickets will open fire at the 
distance of half a mile, to prevent the closer approach of the 
reconnoitring party, and as with modern arms horsemen 
may be picked from the saddle from a great distance, the 
patrol will be unable to determine the distance of the 
enemy by the effect of his fire. With modern arms and 
smokeless powder a single marksman in a sheltered posi- 
tion may cause serious loss to a body of troops, as witness 
the case cited in the " Military Album," when in an attack 
by Bavarians on a French battalion sheltered behind a low 
wall, a Bavarian soldier climbed into a tree, and picked off 
the French at will, while no smoke betrayed him, and 
several volleys failed to kill the daring marksman. 

Thus scouting parties will be forced to move with great 
caution, and will not always be able to collect sufficient 
information, all the more so because, having come under 
the fire of insignificant posts, and having been obliged to 
withdraw, they will naturally not wish to admit that they 
were engaged with small numbers of the enemy. More 
precise information may be attained only by means of 
infantry commands which are more easily sheltered, and 
which can approach more closely the positions of the 
enemy. Such a definition of the duties in reconnaissances 
of cavalry patrols and infantry commands is laid down in 
the Instructions for Infantry elaborated by the French 
technical committee : " Cavalry may obtain only general 


approximate information as to the position and strength 
of the enemy; for the acquiring of detailed and precise 
information infantry must be employed." And actually, 
in the French military manoeuvres, cavalry are now kept 
at some distance, and close reconnaissances are made by 
infantry. Nevertheless, the reconnoitring importance of 
cavalry, in the strategical sense, has increased. It must 
be taken into account that the territory of the enemy will 
be sown with a multitude of permanent and improvised 
fortified positions and points, and an army will not attack 
without having around itself, and more particularly in 
advance, a network of cavalry detachments split up into 
small parts and patrols. To a large extent such cavalry 
will operate independently, as when crossing the frontier 
in the beginning of war. It must alarm the enemy, destroy 
or seize provisions, guard the bridges, seize despatches, 
collect information as to the enemy's movements, and pro- 
tect the communications of the army in its rear. 

The greater the importance played in modern war by 
railways, telegraphs, and improvised entrenchments, the 
more essential has become this strategical employment of 
cavalry. Military writers generally assume that the chief 
strength of cavalry must be sent forward for investigation, 
and for the protection of the advanced guards of armies, 
as Germans expressed by the German saying, "Die Reiterci 
allzeit voran!" (Horsemen always to the front). In view of 
the power of modern arms, and the resulting practice of dis- 
posing troops behind natural and artificial defences, and in 
view of the great network of defensive points prepared in 
advance, an attacking army will more than ever find it 
necessary to feel its way, and to reconnoitre the country 
into which it is advancing. Thus the capacity of cavalry as 
the "feelers" of an army has become especially important. 

As to the part cavalry should play in actual battle, military 
writers differ in a remarkable degree. Some, as the French 
Captain Nigot, believe that the desperate massed attacks 
of cavalry, which prove so effective in manoeuvres, are 
impossible, as with the great increase in the power of fire, 
cavalry will not be able to strike at infantry even when 


weakness is observed. From his calculations it appears 
that a battalion of 800 rifles, with one volley fired at a 
range of 330 yards, would unhorse 424 troopers, and if a 
battalion were to open fire at 880 yards, and continue 
firing, at a distance of 1 10 yards 2656 men would have 
been put out of action, that is several battalions of cavalry, 
attacking one after another. 

Such is not the view of all military writers. Thus 
one author, relying on the fact that cavalry will cover a 
given distance at twice the speed of infantry, contends that 
although cavalry is subjected to treble the possibility of 
disablement, yet one factor neutralises the other, and 
therefore the loss of cavalry will be no greater than the 
loss of infantry in the same distance. 

Of one thing there is not the slightest doubt, that is, that 
cavalry is threatened with treble probability of being struck. 
In France it was shown that under equal conditions cavalry 
losses under fire are from two and a half to three times 
as great as infantry losses, and that cavalry cannot, 
therefore, remain immovable under fire. Therefore, in 
France it is considered proven that in time of battle 
cavalry must keep at a distance of not less than 3850 yards 
from the enemy, and may draw nearer only towards the 
close of the battle. Otherwise it would be swept away by 
rifle and artillery fire. 

The speed at which cavalry may attack is taken by 
some at 550 yards a minute, but most authorities limit it 
to 440, even to 374, yards a minute. But even if, not- 
withstanding inequalities of the battlefield and the close 
formation which lowers the general speed to the speed of 
the slowest horses, the speed of attack is taken as 
half a mile in two minutes — almost racing speed — 
nevertheless, in the course of these two minutes' exposure 
to effective fire before it can get to close quarters with 
infantry, cavalry must suffer immense losses which will 
force it to disperse or make its attack feeble. 

It must be understood that for the consideration of this 
question we have only the opinions of different military 
speciaHsts. The German author of the " Militarische 


Essays " says that modern conditions in no way involve 
the fascination which surrounds cavalry in the traditions 
of the Seven Years War, and that the German army 
would enter upon war with from 30,000 to 40,000 super- 
fluous cavalry, which would only create difficulties in 
concentration and to the Commissariat. But other authori- 
ties declare that the smokelessness of the battlefield will 
be favourable for cavalry attack, since it will be easier 
seen at what points the enemy's infantry is weak, while it 
will be more difficult for infantry to await from afar, 
without the covering of smoke, the impetuous shock of 
masses of cavalry. 

This moment when weakening is observed in the 
enemy's infantry is relied upon by the advocates of 
cavalry attack in battle. One even goes so far as to say 
that upon the clash of cavalry upon infantry " it will 
matter nothing what may be in the hands of the trembling 
infantry — magazine rifles, flint-locks, or simply pitch- 
forks." But, as Von der Goltz observes, weakness may 
be very plain in the ranks of an army and yet not be seen 
by the enemy. Such weakness can only be seen from 
advanced positions, and while the information is being 
conveyed to the proper quarter and cavalry is being sent 
to attack, the auspicious moment may have passed. On 
the other hand, the movement of masses of cavalry is 
always visible owing to the dust it raises, and all the fire 
of the enemy may be concentrated on these masses, 
artillery fire against cavalry being effective from a long 
range, as the mass presents an immense target. 

In comparison with the times of the Seven Years War 
cavalry has itself made progress. It is furnished with 
stronger and swifter horses. But this improvement can in 
no way be compared with the increase in range and 
rapidity of fire. In addition to this, as the same author 
observes, in former times it was sufficient to break up 
thick masses of infantry and their opposition was at an 
end ; now infantry begins the battle in loose formation, 
each individual command constitutes a unit fit for battle, 
and even the solitary soldier will not lose his wits while a 


cartridge remains upon him. Thus the relations between 
cavalry and infantry have entirely changed. 

It is questionable, indeed, whether in the future cavalry 
will have that importance which formerly belonged to it, 
as a force deciding battle and afterwards completing 
the overthrow of the enemy by pursuit. Even in the wars 
of 1870 and 1877 this importance of cavalry seemed 
diminished, although, on the other hand, its importance 
in the reconnoitring of occupied territory, the protection 
of armies, and its value in independent action have 

In addition to this, a new function for cavalry has been 
created — immediate irruption into the territory of an 
enemy, and the destruction of his arrangements for 
mobilisation, and his communications. To what extent 
such action of cavalry in the moment of the declaration of 
war will prove successful is still to be proven by experi- 
ence. In the event of success such action would cause 
disorganisation in the enemy's arrangements, and force 
him to accelerate them. And as operations, considering 
the immensity of modern armies, may be successfully 
carried on only by the precise execution of strategical 
plans elaborated in advance, then the disorganisation 
caused by sudden cavalry irruptions might have the 
most important results. 

As concerns the role of cavalry in pursuit, it is more 
important to consider this role in the pursuit of retreating 
armies to their farthest movement than in the pursuit of 
armies in their actual retreat from the field of battle. 
Doubts have been expressed as to the decisiveness of 
future battles. It is very probable that in the majority of 
cases the road selected for retreat will be guarded by 
defences constructed in advance, the retreating army 
falling back upon the nearest position and offering fresh 
resistance to the victors, who, on their side, will be 
weakened by the storming of the first positions. In such 
case the most important 7vle of cavalry may be to prevent 
the retreating army drawing reinforcement from other 
sections of the army which, owing to the vastness of the 


field of battle, may find themselves at considerable 
distance from the main army. 

In any case it will be seen that the duties of cavalry in 
war remain very important, although the fulfilment or non- 
fulfilment of some of the tasks appointed for it has still to 
be shown by experience. 

Quite otherwise is the case of artillery. 

It is an accepted axiom that without the aid of artillery 
it is impossible to drive infantry, even infantry considerably 
weaker in numbers, out of a fortified position ; and as all 
infantry when acting on the defensive will be entrenched, 
then armies in future will find themselves mainly dependent 
upon artillery. 

The successful employment of artillery will depend upon 
the opposition it meets from the artillery fire of the enemy. 
The artillery of the attacking side will begin by attempt- 
ing to silence, or at least to weaken the artillery fire of the 
defenders, which object being accomplished, it will be able 
to turn its attention to the enemy's infantry. The artillery 
of the defending army, possessing as it will many advan- 
tages, will attempt to prevent this. The result of such a 
duel, if the defenders haveartillery of nearly equal strength 
and quality, in all probability will be the annihilation of 
the attacking artillery ; while if the superiority of the 
attacking artillery be substantial, the result will more pro- 
bably be mutual annihilation. 

The increase in the artillery of all armies, the improve- 
ment of ammunition, the adoption of smokeless powder 
and of new explosives, the improvement in tactics, all 
these must lead to such great losses in the artillery service 
that their action will be paralysed, or the losses in the 
armies will become so tremendous that war itself will be 

Such a conclusion may seem risky, but it is founded on 
the investigations of the most competent artillerists, and 
in the justice of their conclusions it is difficult not to 
concur, when we consider the changes which have taken 
place since the time of the last great war. 

As relates to the employment of artillery, it may first of 



all be noted that the adoption of new powders has changed 
for the worse the position of artillerymen. In former 
times a thick cloud of smoke hampered the aim of the 
artilleryman. But on the other hand it prevented the 
enemy's artillery and infantry from taking accurate aim. 

As long as ordinary powder was used there was no 
especial need for increase in accuracy and rapidity of fire, 
for quick firing produced so much smoke that after a short 
time it was necessary to slacken fire, except on those 
occasions when there was a favourable wind ; and accuracy 
also was not as important as it is at the present day. 
With smokeless powder it is possible to discharge more 
shots in a few minutes favourable for fire than were 
formerly discharged in a day's battle. In this connection 
the accuracy of modern fire must again be insisted upon. 
Cannon at a distance of 201 1 yards has placed shot in 
the same hole four times in succession.* 

It must be borne in mind that against the enemy's 
artillery the defending army will make use also of sharp- 
shooters. Using the new powder, sharpshooters will have 
full possibility to approach the batteries of the enemy, and 
concealing themselves behind inequalities of the field of 
battle, with no smoke to betray them, may pick off all the 
enemy's gunners and horses. 

Manoeuvres in which smokeless powder has been used 
confirm the opinion that from a distance of 440 yards it 
is impossible to discover marksmen hidden behind trees 
or bushes. But from this distance every shot of a skilful 
marksman will claim its victim. In addition to this, all 
armies now possess specially organised bodies of chas- 
seurs, trained to fire from great distances, and accustomed 
stealthily to approach their mark. It is plain that for such 
commands there can be no especial difficulty in stealing up 
to a battery and picking off the artillerymen. The French, 
German, and Austrian armies dispose of sufficient numbers 
of such soldiers. It is well known that Germany, France, 
Austria, and Switzerland yearly expend considerable sums 

'■= Lobell, " Militarische Jahresberichte," 1894. 


on the encouragement of good shooting, and that among 
the population of those states there is a considerable 
number of first-rate shots. In the Russian army chasseur 
commands are also found with the different army divisions. 
According to the data of the Prussian General Rohne 
100 sharpshooters will put a battery out -of action, firing 
from a distance of — 

880 yards in the course of* 2.4 minutes, 
iioo ,1 ,, ,, 4 >> 

1320 „ „ ,, 7.5 

1650 „ „ „ 22 „ 

But even if the destruction of the gunners be not accom- 
plished by sharpshooters, it is very probable that it will 
soon be done by the artillery of the enemy. 

The quantity and power of artillery in all armies has 
been multiplied many times. If the figures which repre- 
sent these increased quantity and increased power be 
multiplied it will be shown that in comparison with 1870 
ihe strength of the French artillery has been multiplied 
116 times, and of the German 42 times. But after the 
introduction of the improved artillery now being accom- 
plished the strength of artillery will be again redoubled. 

If, to form some idea how losses in a future war from the 
action of artillery alone will exceed the corresponding 
losses in 1870-71, we multiply the figure of these latter 
losses by the figures which represent the increased force 
of modern artillery, the result would De incredible, for it 
would show that there could not be an army large enough 
to sustain such losses. But for the purpose of giving an 
idea as to the power of modern artillery these figures have 
a theoretical value, resulting as they do from simple arith- 
metical calculation. 

In one sense calculation will not be uninstructive. 
What number of soldiers will be disabled by the use 
of that quantity of shots which is found in the ammu- 
nition cases of the batteries of different countries, 'taking 
into account the conditions for marksmanship less favour- 
able in war than in peace ? When we make this calculation, 


on the figures of the Prussian general and well-known 
military writer Muller, we find that the ammunition carried 
by the batteries of the French and Russian armies, taken 
together, would put out of action six millions of soldiers. 
Continuing our calculations upon the data of the same 
authority we find that the Franco-Russian artillery, with 
its ready supply of ammunition, would be capable of with- 
standing the attack of double that number, or twelve 
millions of men. The ready supply of ammunition in the 
united German, Austrian and Italian armies would disable 
five millions of men, and successfully repulse the attack 
of ten millions of infantry. 

A writer no less authoritative, a professor of the chief 
artillery school in France, Colonel Langlois, speaking as to 
the character of future battles, expresses the opinion that 
for one field-piece up to 500 rounds will be required. If 
we estimate the quantity of artillery, and the number of 
fragments produced by explosion, it is shown that these 
are sufficient for the destruction of forces eight times 
stronger than the armies opposed to them. It is necessary 
to mention here that modern projectiles, filled with powerful 
explosives, will be dangerous not only to the enemy, but 
also to the army which employs them. The storing, 
transport, and employment of such explosives under the 
well-directed fire of an enemy may lead to catastrophes 
which will still further increase the horrors of war. In 
France fotigasse shells, containing 4 pounds of melinite, 
have been adopted. The majority of writers are agreed 
that in view of the possible premature explosion of melinite 
shells, foHgasse shells are very dangerous, as in such 
event, the bursting of the gun seems inevitable. But the 
danger is not limited to the possible bursting of guns. 
Against entrenched armies, mortars and siege artillery of 
great size will be employed. The projectiles of these will 
be filled with strong explosives, such as peroxylene and 
melinite. Now these explosives are capable of exploding 
unexpectedly on certain changes of temperature and from 
other causes not yet ascertained. The agitation of the air 
caused by the enemy's shells may also cause explosions. 


It is enough to note that explosions are by no means 
uncommon during experiments, ahhough these experiments 
are carried on by trained men under the supervision of 
picked officers. The very mystery with which not only 
the experiments but the accidents which arise therefrom 
are surrounded, proves recognition of the difficulties that 
arise and the uncertainty of success, England is the only 
country where circumstantial accounts of accidents in 
dealing with explosives are published. In the j-early 
memoranda of inspectors we usually find a long list of 
accidents in the making or transport of explosive sub- 
stances, and this, among other things, shows that notwith- 
standing all measures of precaution, armies are sometimes 
supplied with dangerously defective ammunition. For the 
sake of safety in many armies explosive projectiles are 
painted various colours, and, in order to distinguish them 
at night, are given a different form. In addition to that 
they must be transported separately, and the very fitting 
of the tube into the projectile is done at the time of 

It is very natural to find that in time of battle, when 
armies are in a state of tension, perfect coolness is found 
only among exceptional natures. During the American Civil 
War thousands of rifles were found upon the battle-fields 
doubly and trebly loaded, and sometimes charged to the 
very muzzle. If in such a simple matter as the loading of 
a rifle such mistakes are made, what is to be expected in 
the use of highly explosive ammunition, the safe handling 
of which demands the greatest precision and caution ? 

Even if we were able to assume that cartridges will 
always be furnished with explosive tubes only when 
operations begin, or on the very position on which they 
are to be employed, and that guns will always be loaded 
with due caution and regularity, even in that case we find 
the possibility of a new and even greater danger. 

Fongasse cartridges consist of a long steel cylinder, of 
which the smooth interior is filled with melinite, roburite, 
ecrasite, or some other explosive. All these substances 
differ from one another by admixtures and mode of pre- 


paration. It is obvious that the thinner the case of the 
cartridge the greater the quantity .of explosives it will 

In the opinion of experts, the direct action of gases on 
explosion is limited to a comparatively small space — 
i6h yards — but their explosion develops such force that 
for" a certain distance it will drag gun, gunners, and horses. 
It cannot but be observed that if in the manufacture of the 
ammunition any faults were to escape detection, the very 
gravest consequences might ensue. In one of the latest 
English compositions on artillery the following sentences 
occur : " The founding of ordinary shells demands great 
care in order to prevent premature explosion in the barrel 
of the gun. Shells must not have on their internal surface 
any roughness which might cause explosion." 

On the explosion of such a shell in the barrel of a 
gun the body of the latter was shattered into more than 
twenty bits, the carriage was completely destroyed, 
and the wheels turned into a heap of splinters. Indi- 
vidual fragments of the destroyed weapon weighed 363 
pounds, and were flung 99 yards forward and backward 
from the place on which the gun had stood, and nearly 
108 yards on either side. Notwithstanding the distance 
between guns, a single explosion might embrace several 
guns with all their ammunition. 

Not far from the battery ammunition cases will be 
placed. If these be not exploded by the concussion of 
the atmosphere they may very easily be exploded by 
some of the heavy fragments which fall upon them. Is 
there any one who can declare that all such accidents will 
be obviated by perfection of technical construction and, 
with the present constitution of armies, by the careful 
selection of those who are to deal with explosives ? 

All this leads to the conclusion that even if we do not 
consider the dangers proceeding from explosions, the 
artillery and ammunition already prepared is sufficient for 
the destruction of much larger armies than will be moved 
on the field of battle. But such destruction may not take 
place for the very simple reason that the artillery of each 


combatant may in a very short time silence the fire of its 
adversary. And as the quantity of artillery, their quality, 
and the training of their crews will, in the opinion of 
most authorities, be almost equal on both sides, then 
common sense tells us that in the artillery duel with 
which battles will commence either the attacking side, 
having less protection, will be destroyed, or mutual exter- 
mination will result. Thus the problem might arise for 
infantry to attack without the support of artillery, and as 
this, as we shall hereafter show, is impossible without 
terrible losses, tactics would probably be changed, and with 
the remnants of its artillery the side having the advantage 
in the artillery duel must await the attack of the enemy ; 
conditions which would probably result in a repetition 
of the events of 1632 at Nuremburg, when Gustavus 
Adolphus and Wallenstein entrenched themselves and laid 
all their hopes of victory on the exhaustion of the enemy. 

As concerns the operations of infantry in the future 
war there is no settled opinion even on the chief question, 
that is, the deciding influence in battle of an infantry 
attack. If war were to break out to-morrow all armies 
in this respect would find themselves under the influence 
of the contradiction between instructions, manoeuvres, 
and the views of the more noted military writers, 
General Skugarevski, M tiller. Von Rohne, Janson, and 
others. There is no reason to be surprised at this, as 
the introduction of smokeless powder, improved rifles ten 
times more eftective than the rifies of the old type, better 
instruction of soldiers, and their equipment with instru- 
ments for the construction of earthworks have changed in 
every respect the conditions of war. 

Modern tactics are primarily the result of our experi- 
ence of the last great war. As long as the progress of 
military technical science was comparatively slow it was 
not difficult to rely upon the experience of the past. At 
the present day the state of affairs is entirely different ; 
in former times re-armament took place after hundreds of 
years, then after many decades, now it takes place in a 
very short time, 


But not only the change in armament will influence the 
action of infantry. The smokelessness of the battlefield, 
the perfection of rifles, artillery, and explosives, and at 
the same time the employment of army hordes consisting 
largely of short-service soldiers, have created entirely 
new conditions for the war of the future. 

In battle a combatant may from a distance three to four 
times greater than before inflict serious losses on attack- 
ing troops. The killing off of the officers and consequent 
weakening in leadership, will be direct consequences of a 
smokeless battlefield, and of the precision of modern 
small arms which makes it possible for marksmen to 
select their victims at will. 

Meantime, the role which will be played by infantry 
has become more complex. In preliminary operations 
infantry must take a far larger part than formerly. The 
close reconnoitring of an enemy's position has become 
the duty of infantry scouts, who wfll be obliged to advance 
stealthily in order to obtain the information necessary for 
any successful attack. Without such service by infantry 
scouts an immense superiority would remain on the defen- 
sive side which, having studied the locality in advance, 
and occupying a commanding position, would simply with 
the aid of field-glasses direct all its blows successfully. 

For the carrying out of such reconnaissances and the 
collecting of information, not only daring but skilful and 
sagacious soldiers are required, and with the modern 
composition of armies it will be very difficult to find such 
men. The determining of positions by smoke is no 
longer possible ; while to determine positions by sound 
is extraordinarily difficult. Experiments carried out on 
French shooting ranges show that the sound caused by 
the explosion of smokeless powder does not penetrate 
as far as that of sulphur powder ; a single rifle shot is 
heard no farther than 880 yards, and volleys, according 
to the number of rifles, no farther than from 1320 to 1540 
yards. Yet knowledge of the strength and position of 
an enemy is much more essential than before, as the 
losses from an unexpected encounter will be very great. 


From modern infantry men much more endurance also 
will be required. Marches will be made in deep columns 
in consequence of the growth of armies ; while the number 
of these marches, as a consequence of the massiveness 
of modern armies, will increase in comparison with former 
times, since, owing to considerations of space and commis- 
sariat, modern armies must be split up and the individual 
sections must reunite with the main body on drawing 
near to an enemy superior in numbers. 

Thus the conditions surrounding advance to battle and 
battle itself have become extraordinarily complicated. 
Yet on mobilisation for every hundred soldiers serving 
with the colours under present arrangements from 26 
men (Italy) to 361 men (Russia) will be drawn from the 
reserve. The majority of these men will have long for- 
gotten what they learnt during their period of service, 
while of their officers only a fraction will be in a high 
state of efficiency. 

With such conditions it would seem necessary that field 
instructions and regulations must be elaborated in time of 
peace, giving precise directions as to tactics in all con- 
tingencies. But in this very respect in every army we 
find deficiencies of different kinds. Theoretical instructions 
do not correspond to practical necessities and are consti- 
tuted from a limited standpoint. Colonel Mignol says 
that the tactics recommended in the latest French official in- 
structions in essence differ very little from those introduced 
after the invention of firearms and the adoption of bayonets, 
that is, when firearms were about forty times less effective 
than they are to-day. At that time in the first line of 
battle marched musketeers who opened the combat, 
followed by pikemen who carried out the actual assault. 
Now battle is opened by moving forward lines of riflemen, 
after which storming columns will advance. But are these 
two forms of tactics in essence the same ? Is it possible 
that all the progress in ballistics which has strengthened 
the defensive power of infantry and increased the mobility 
and strength of artillery, has not led to a change in the 
very nature of war ? Is it possible that war remains the 


same as in the time of matchlocks, flintlocks, and ramrods 
with the mere difference that musketeers have been re- 
placed by sharpshooters, and pikemen by reserves and 
the viassc ? The inadequacy of the recommended systems 
is so obvious that as soon as new instructions appear they 
are submitted to criticism and changed. In truth, the 
views concerning the duties of infantry present a labyrinth 
of irreconcilable contradictions, one incompatible with 

The reader must not think that these contradictions 
are apparent only to the layman. General Luset, a very 
well-informed specialist, speaking of French tactics, asks : 
" Who has not been astonished by the differences of view 
found in the text-books of our schools on questions 
touching the actual condition of tactics ? Can we admit 
that the teaching of infantry officers in the lower schools 
agrees with that which they receive in the highest military 
training institutions ? The teaching of this higher school 
does not correspond to the courses of the Ecole d' Appli- 
cation. The ideas insisted upon in the teaching of the 
higher military school change continually. There is a 
chaos of contending ideas and principles, and out of the 
general confusion not a ray of light appears. Is it 
surprising that officers ask, ' What is the use of study ? ' 
Let teachers first agree among themselves 1 " 

Attentive study of German writers will reveal differences 
no less great. But for many obvious reasons they are 
expressed with greater caution. Many German military 
writers are restrained from a too frank admission of the 
dangers and difficulties of war under modern conditions 
by the fear of giving food to the agitation against militarism. 
Rules hasten after rules, supplementary explanations 
are constantly added, and in the result of results we find 
a chaos of inconsistencies. It could not be otherwise. 
When all units of infantry are furnished with trenching 
tools in such quantities that in the course of a very short 
time earthworks may be thrown up, each attacking body is 
subjected to eight times the danger of their sheltered 
opponents. But in addition to rifle fire, attacking forces 


will be subjected to fire from the protected artillery of 
the defenders. 

It is not surprising therefore that, concerning the 
character of the future employment of infantry, the 
views of different authorities present numberless and 
grave contradictions. 

A considerable number of military writers, judging from 
the experience of past wars, conclude that the main points 
in the employment of infantry in battle have not changed. 
Infantry will be employed in battle as in the past, but in 
loose formation, and the command of infantry will not be 
especially difficult not only for experienced officei's, but 
even for those who have been taken from the reserve. 
On the other hand, other writers declare that for the com- 
mand of infantry on the battlefield even more ability will 
be required than for the command of artillery and cavalry. 
For 300 officers who are capable of learning to command 
a battery or a squadron not lOO will be found in any army 
capable of leading infantry under fire. What, then, shall 
we expect from the officers of the reserve ? In one thing, 
however, all are agreed — that whatever be the tactics 
adopted, their successful execution will require great skill 
in taking advantage of cover and in overcoming obstacles, 
knowledge when to seek shelter on the .ground and to 
advance again at the proper moment. Will the reservists 
only just summoned to the colours be in a condition to 
fulfil these duties ? But even suppose that a considerable 
part will consist of perfectly trained and enduring officers 
and soldiers, what in such event will be their losses ? 

Some say that there is no reason for supposing that in 
a future war armies will sustain greater losses than in the 
past. Others, no less authoritative, declare that attacks 
having with their object, the occupation of an enemy's 
position in a future- war will be so difficult and bloody 
that neither side will be in a condition to celebrate the 
victory. Before the defended position will be formed a belt 
I TOO yards wide, for both sides equally inaccessible, 
limited by human bodies over which will fly thousands 
of bullets and shells, a belt over which no living being 


will be able to pass to decide the battle with the 

But another view is expressed. All this, some writers 
say, would be true in view of the small-calibre rifles and 
improved artillery now in use if the field of battle were a 
drill-ground where distances were known and marksmen 
guaranteed that they would not be struck by the enemy's 
fire, and if the field of battle were a perfectly level space ; 
but in nature such positions are rarely met with, and armies 
will take advantage of the shelter of woods and under- 
growth, eminences and depressions. Hidden behind the 
first line of riflemen who will constitute the Ktigclfang the 
succeeding lines will advance with much less losses. 

To this is replied : It will be easy for commanders to 
follow the approach of the enemy by means of balloons from 
permanent points of view and from portable obser- 
vation points, which will be set up by every detachment 
intending to occupy a position. Therefore with the 
long range, precision and striking power of modern artil- 
lery, which make it possible to scatter fragments and 
bullets to immense distances, it will be possible to shell an 
enemy out of woods and from behind bushes and inequalities 
of the ground. There is no foundation for supposing that 
the enemy will select precisely those positions which will 
not give him the possibility of taking advantage of long- 
distance rifles and artillery. In addition to this, and to 
trenches and earthworks, he may prepare other obstacles 
for the overcoming of which the attackers from a short 
distance, in more or less dense masses, and under a con- 
stant fire will require no little time. 

To this is replied that at short range the losses, not- 
withstanding the unquestioned improvement of the ballistic 
qualities of modern arms, will not be great. When the 
enemy is within close range the soldiers will be nervous, 
they will aim badly or not at all, and modern perfected 
small-arms will be little better than bows and pitchforks in 
the hands of barbarians. 

Rut the soldier under cover will be subjected to very 
little danger. Resting his rifle upon the trench, he will 


fire without aiming, holding his rifle horizontally, and the 
bullet will bring death to whatever lies in its path for a 
space of 660 yards, while even if fired at too great an 
elevation it will fall among the reserves. The experience 
of the Chilian war demonstrates that at a range of from 
1 100 to 1320 yards the losses from random shots may be 
very considerable. 

All this is well known to the advocates of war, yet they 
continue to maintain that soldiers will shoot badly, and 
that the perfected rifles now in their hands will be no more 
effective than the weapons they bore in the past. But is 
there any reason to suppose that with the favourable con- 
ditions for defence above indicated, soldiers acting on the 
defensive will aim badly ? Why, then, assume that the 
attackers will have sufficient courage to advance openly, 
exposing their whole bodies, when the defenders will be 
subjected to a danger eight times less ? In reality even this 
danger will not exist. At very short distances the fire of an 
enemy approaching at a running pace will be quite ineffec- 
tive, while his rear ranks will be forced to cease fire. 

Even if we were to admit that the defending army will 
always be of inferior quality, in such case his fire will be 
so heavy that it must work immense destruction among 
the attackers. To this also a reply is found. We are 
told that the stronger the fire the farther the contending 
armies will remain from one another ; they will rarely see 
one another ; rivers, woods, and hills will sometimes sepa- 
rate them ; there will no longer be direct clashes of troops, 
making of man a bloodthirsty beast, and ending in the ruin 
of one of the combatants. And since battles will take 
place at immense distances it will not be difBcult in case of 
need to retreat from the field. But in such event more or 
less mutual extermination will have taken place without 
definite result. 

Other writers admit the probability of terrible blood- 
shed and immense losses, but maintain that not this but 
the gaining of victory is the important point, whatever 
the losses may be. The war of 1870 showed that 
infantry is capable of enduring immense losses. Other 


specialists regard this opinion with suspicion in view of 
the fact that modern infantry is very different from that 
which fought in 1870. For many causes they admit that 
the losses will be incomparably greater. 

Modern arms not only increase the direct danger but 
paralyse the medical service, since it will be impossible to 
organise ambulance stations in positions exposed even to 
the random shots of the en'^my, and equally difficult to 
carry off the wounded. Modern rifles kill at two miles, 
artillery is effective at more than three and a half miles. 
And armies no longer consist of professional soldiers, but of 
peace-loving citizens who have no desire to expose them- 
selves to danger. The propaganda against war may turn 
their minds in another direction. It is impossible to rely 
upon modern armies submitting to sacrifice and depriva- 
tion to such an extent as is desired by military theorists 
who lose sight of the tendencies which obtain in western 
European society. 

Such contradictions of opinions are met not only by ques- 
tions of a general nature, but even by matters of detail. 
Some declare that the improvement in firearms, and the 
adoption and application to military purposes of all the 
latest inventions, have cast into the background mere 
muscular strength, replacing it by military technique. 
With immense armies and high mental training of leaders, 
it will be possible by means of the strategical concentra- 
tion of marching columns at a certain point to outflank and 
surround the enemy — all the more possible because the 
defence will be weakened in consequence of the greater 
distance of reserves. 

To this the reply is : In order to carry out such an 
operation it will be necessary to know all the movements 
of the enemy, while against smokeless powder, long- 
range firearms, and against the precautions taken for 
guarding the centre of an army, the obtaining of informa- 
tion and the examination of the inhabitants will be more 
difficult; the quick construction of light trenches will 
render. vain attempts at turning flanks and surrounding 
an enemy ; while the constant arrival on the field of battle 


of fresh forces, which will be frequent owing to the dis- 
tribution of armies over great areas, will endanger the 
position of an army which attempts a flanking movement. 
Thus we find before us a whole series of hopeless con- 
tradictions. This it seems is inevitable and springs from 
the very nature of things. A war alone is capable of 
solving these questions. 

In the future war, whatever the combinations may be, 
one side will stand primarily on the defensive; and if 
after the repulse of the enemy's attacks it in its turn 
resorts to attack for the purpose of finally overthrowing 
him, such operations can only be carried on for a short 
distance, as the newly attacking army will meet with 
similar insuperable obstacles. The contending armies in 
all probability will often exchange their parts. 

French statisticians estimate that every attacking body, 
in order that it shall not be inferior to the defenders, when 
it has got within 35^ yards (the distance at which it will be 
possible to rush upon the enemy), for each hundred men of 
the defenders it must have 6'^'] men ; while if it wishes to 
reach the actual positions of the defenders not numerically 
inferior, it must have eight times as many men. 

By the statistics of General Skugarevski, a body of 
troops, double the strength of the defenders, beginning an 
attack from 800 paces, by the time they have advanced 
3(X) paces will have less than half their strength available 
against the defence. With equal forces the defenders may 
allow the enemy to approach to within a distance of 220 
yards, when they will only need to discharge the six cart- 
ridges in their magazines in order to annihilate the 
attacking force. 

The celebrated Prussian authority. General Muller, 
declares that in order to avoid total extermination 
"soldiers will be compelled, in scattered formation, and 
as much as possible unobserved by the enemy, to creep 
forward, hiding behind irregularities in the field, and 
burying themselves in the earth as moles." 

If this is so, is it possible to dream of taking an en- 
trenched position? Let us suppose that, following the 


advice of General Miiller, attacking troops will begin to 
form at 225 paces from the enemy, up to that time having 
suffered no loss. Let us also suppose that at that distance 
of 225 paces the attacking body numbers 400 men and 
the defenders in the trenches only 100 men. Now from 
the statistics of General Skugarevski, after the distance 
between the combatants has been traversed, only 74 men 
will be left to the offensive side for the actual attack with 
the bayonet. To suppose that the defending troops will 
have a clear field for aiming of less than 225 paces, or that 
74 men will be able to wrest an entrenched position from 
100 would be absurd. 

All this leads to the conclusion that concerning methods 
of attack there can be no certain knowledge. To rely 
upon the assistance of artillery at the present day, when 
the quantity and quality of artillery will be on both sides 
the same, is impossible. To obtain a superiority of rifle 
fire over that of the defenders will be equally difficult, 
even with a considerable preponderance of strength ; so 
that the defending army in the very moment of attack may 
find itself in a position of complete security. 

The Prussian General Janson expressed the view, to 
this time uncontroverted, that for attack it will first be 
necessary to employ artillery upon the enemy's position, 
and this of course can only be done by the concentration 
of a more powerful artillery than is at the disposal of the 
defence. If the rifle-pits and trenches of the defender's 
position are furnished with internal covering the assistance 
of siege artillery may be necessary for their destruction. 

Only after such preliminary action may the actual attack 
by infantry begin. But to approach an adversary in a 
strongly fortified position, in the face of a fire over ground 
the distances of which have been ascertained beforehand, 
is a laborious task, and may even require two days to 
accomplish. In the first day the attacking body will 
advance to the limit of the line of fire of the enemy's 
artillery, and upon the approach of darkness must send 
into the belt of rifle fire small bodies, that is, companies 
taken from the assaulting army, always according to their 


order in the ranks. The advanced troops will proceed to 
the points selected, and immediately entrench themselves. 
These selected points of defence will form a line from 
which on the following day the storm of the position will 
be begun, after the opening of a strong rifle fire against 
the defence, and the advance of the rear echelons into the 
foremost line. 

Now here comes in the chief difficulty in the execution 
of General Janson's plans. First of all the enemy will 
take such precautionary measures that it will seldom 
happen that the echelons advanced into the firing line 
before dawn will be able to find natural cover ; on the 
contrary, the greater part of these echelons will remain 
without protection, and will stand exposed for a long time, 
while the attacking army, by means of fire, is preparing 
the position for attack. 

General Janson himself is far from persuaded that the 
system of attack recommended by him will prove suc- 
cessful, even in the majority of cases. Indeed, as a 
condition precedent for the success of the attack, he 
assumes that the defenders will be disorganised and 
panic-stricken ; at the same time adding that " we have 
no right to assume concerning the enemy what we 
would never admit about ourselves." Of course the 
system of attack he advocates could only prove suc- 
cessful after immense losses, and not always even after 
such losses. 

To rely simply on the strength of the bayonet in face 
of modern intensity of fire would be to judge only by 
the tradition of those times when the bayonet was the 
last argument in battle. In the Russian army, faith 
in the bayonet is still sometimes expressed. Among 
foreign authorities it is no longer met with. The con- 
ditions have wholly changed. In former times the result 
of an infantry battle was thus decided : the combatants 
advanced upon one another without flinching, exchanged 
a volley or two, and then rushed upon one another. 
By such an assault the fate of the battle was quickly 
decided, the weaker side gave way, and escaped without 



difficulty if the enemy employed no cavalry. The victors 
sent two or three volleys after the vanquished, and the 
battle was over. 

The conditions are very different now. Before an 
attack with the bayonet can be made a zone of murderous 
fire has first to be passed. Retreat after a repulsed attack 
upon a fortified position, will be accomplished only after 
the loss of more than half the attacking force. At such 
short ranges as will be founa in bayonet attacks, almost 
every rifle bullet will disable one soldier, and often more 
than one. On a smokeless battlefield the results of such 
an overthrow will be visible to all. At such close ranges the 
present covered bullet will penetrate the cranium ; but in 
other parts of the body will have a shattering and tearing 

If we accept the opinions of the specialists cited that 
the defending troops by the force of their fire can stop the 
attack at some hundred yards distance, making further 
progress impossible, we are bound to admit that the 
defenders in their turn will not be able to undertake an 
assault, which would merely result in changing their 
positions with the enemy. 

The attainment of success, as happened in the past, and 
especially in the war of 1870, by means of manoeuvres and 
enveloping, will, in the war of the future, also be unlikely. 
In the first place such operations demand great superiority 
of force, whereas armies will be almost equal. Further, for 
the enveloping of an enemy's position reconnaissance 
under fire is necessary, and this is a very arduous 
task. A defending army driven from its positions, will 
begin to retreat by convenient roads, either finding new 
points of resistance prepared in advance, or again 
entrenching itself in suitable positions, continuing its 
opposition to the attacking army, and inflicting upon it 
new losses until reinforcements arrive. 

In view of the conditions of modern war the question 
inevitably arises : Will leaders be found gifted with suffi- 
cient talent to decide the problems of war, and overcome 


difficulties which seem almost insuperable? Year by 
year the mechanism of war undergoes improvement, and 
it must continue to become more complex. The fortifica- 
tion of frontiers continues, the strength of armies grows. 
Would it not be madness to begin a war when the very 
methods of attack are the subject of dispute, and the only 
indisputable fact remains that every mistake, in conse- 
quence of the immense power of firearms, will be followed 
by ruinous results ? 

In enunciating the more important questions which 
arise from the new mechanism of war, we naturally meet 
the question : Is there not a strange contradiction in the 
preparation of powerful weapons of extermination, and 
the subjection to military service of almost the whole of 
the grown population in those states where the spirit of the 
time is so decidedly opposed to militarism? In order, how- 
ever, to prepare a basis for a reply to this question we should 
be compelled to describe the entire action of that mechanism 
denominated an army of which the constituent parts are 
here marshalled. 

General Count Caprivi declared in Parliament that the 
people was possessed by a madness for figures. And 
indeed all European states from the time of the introduc- 
tion of universal military service have been in a position 
to call under the colours almost the whole of their able- 
bodied male population. 

But these men are not soldiers. They are worthless 
save when they are properly armed and instructed. In 
addition they must be commanded, and without leader- 
ship the best army in the world would be an inert mob. 
Only men with commanders can be named soldiers. 

Different authorities variously estimate the strength of 
armies which might be placed in the field on the outbreak 
of a war. To preserve impartiality we must introduce all 
such estimates. 

But the following figures, which relate to the year 1896, 
appear to us the most probable. 

The military strengths of the Powers are as follows 


Germany 2,550,000 

Austria-Hungary .... 1,304,000 
Italy 1,281,000 

Total . . 5,135,000 

France 2,554,000 

Russia 2,8oD,ooo 

Total . . 5.354.000 

To arrive at this result the governments of these coun- 
tries have lavished milliards. Yet it is a remarkable fact 
that the relative strength of armies has not changed, not- 
withstanding the efforts of every State to outdo its neigh- 

Conscription, as at present systematised, has one good 
side — it bears in itself the embryo of the abolition of war. 
On the mobilisation of the whole working population in 
the different countries difficulties may easily arise the con- 
sequences of which it would be difficult to foresee. 

Within recent times immense sums have been laid out 
to ensure the rapid concentration of all possible forces as 
quickly as may be after the declaration of war, in positions 
near to the enemy, in order at once to begin a determined 
attack. Such arrangements in 1870 gave the Germans 
the most splendid results, and their necessity is now 
generally acknowledged. But since then the conditions 
have changed. The superiority which rapid concentration 
and mobilisation will give may be counterbalanced by the 
greater order which will result from less haste, and the less 
grave economic disorganisation which slower mobilisation 
will cause. 

There can be no doubt that the immensity of modern 
armies and the weight of their equipment enormously in- 
crease the need for endurance among the rank and file. 
Infantry soldiers are compelled to carry a weight of from 
25 to 35 kilogrammes, or from 70 to Zj pounds. To become 
inured gradually to this there will not be time ; long 
marches must be undertaken at once, and not a small pro- 
portion of the soldiers will break down from exhaustion. 


The French medical authorities declare that after the first 
two weeks of marching the hospitals will contain 100,000 
men, excluding those disabled by wounds. 

To obtain quarters for an immense number of men will 
be impossible, and armies in the very beginning will be 
deprived of the most necessary conveniences. It will be 
difficult to guarantee large masses of men with pro- 
visions, with the same speed with which those men are 
mobilised. The local stores at the chief points of move- 
ment will be exhausted, and the transport of provisions 
from the central organisation will require time. Of the 
consequences of mobilisation we may judge, although 
imperfectly, by the experience of manoeuvres. In France 
the manoeuvres have already revealed imperfect training of 
officers, and unsatisfactory fulfilment by the reservists of 
their military duties. At every obstacle these men broke 
up into formless mobs ; they fired badly, so badly, indeed, 
that it was admitted that in the event of war three or four 
weeks' training would be required before they could be 
sent to the front, especially upon offensive operations. 

It is improbable that in other countries similar in- 
efficiency has not been observed ; and that this inefficiency 
is not spoken of so openly may be due to greater restraint 
or to insufficient means of publicity. 

It may, indeed, be said that universal military service 
for short periods presents conditions in which lie con- 
cealed the germs of the impossibility of war itself This 
impossibility lies mainly in the difficulty of providing for 
immense masses, as a consequence of the diminution in 
productiveness, the possibility of economic crises, and 
popular commotions, and, finally, in the extreme difficulty 
of directing armies consisting of millions of men. 

With the growth of populations armies will continue to 
grow, and since even now the immensity of armies and 
the condition of armaments and tactics make the appara- 
tus of war so complex that the directing, feeding, and 
forcing of armies into battle has become very difficult, in a 
not very distant future it will be more than questionable. 

The more complex the apparatus the greater intelli- 


gence will be required for its management, both in those 
who command and those who obey. As the methods of 
extermination grow more powerful the more essential will 
it be to act at the psychical moment. In the network of 
opinions, conditions, needs, and dangers which wjll_ arise 
at almost every point of a struggle, in the opinion of 
General Dragomiroff only a powerfully developed intelli- 
gence will be in a position to act. The immensity of 
armies will cause great complexity in the whole apparatus 
of war ; but, at the same time, side by side with the in- 
crease in the size of armies, grows the power of weapons 
of destruction. The power of the rifle has been increased 
fourteen times and that of artillery forty times. 

In the past, success in war depended upon the ability 
of the commander and the courage of his army. In the 
future, success will depend more on the ability of the 
commanders of individual bodies of troops, on the 
initiative and energy of all officers, on the personal 
example which they set to their men, and finally even on 
the condition of the soldiers themselves. 

For the just direction of all this gigantic mechanism 
much experience will be required. But where will experi- 
enced commanders be found in the future, when experience 
even of the present conditions is lacking ? 

The conditions of modern war are such that of necessity 
the directing power must pass from the hands of the older 
commanders, not to speak of generals — from the hands of 
colonels and even commanders of battalions — into the 
hands of captains. Yet the French Professor Coumes, 
in his work, ** La Tactique de Demain," declares that for 
the command of infantry on the field of battle such skill 
will be required that in no army will there be found lOO 
officers out of every 500 fit to lead a company under fire. 

If this can be said in time of peace concerning the 
officers of standing armies, what will be the state of affairs 
in war ? What will the chaos be when two-thirds of the 
men in the ranks shall have been taken from the reserves, 
who have forgotten their duties, who do not know their 
officers, and to whom their men in turn are equally strangers? 


The army will pass under the baton of the Commander-in- 
Chief as it has been made by mobilisation. Consequently 
the dispositions for mobilisation have greater importance 
than before, and defects in mobilisation cannot be 
remedied in time of war. In view of the colossal size of 
modern armies their direction in time of war will be 
extremely difficult even for the most gifted leaders. 

In addition to military skill, it will be necessary that a 
commander-in-chief shall be a good administrator. Every- 
where it is recognised that the supply of an army will be 
a labour of Hercules, and attempts will continually be 
made by the enemy to destroy communications. To lead 
an immense modern army, to concentrate and deconcen- 
trate it as necessity requires, is a labour in no way easy ; 
but to keep it in supplies will be an especially burdensome 

Before the introduction of long-range firearms, battle- 
fields were no larger than the exercise grounds of a modern 
brigade. The battlefields of the future will prove to be much 
greater in area than those of the past. The most powerful 
mind will not be able to embrace and combine all the 
details, requirements, and circumstances of an immense 
field. The receiving of information and the despatch of 
orders will be very difficult in the general uproar. The 
position will be all the more difficult since it will be seldom 
possible fully to concentrate the army for battle ; often 
many divisions will approach at their own time. Hence it 
will happen that the independence of commanders of 
divisions will play a considerable part. The wars of the 
eighteenth century required one commander. The present 
more mobile tactics necessitate as many commanders as 
there are independent sections of an army. 

And yet Europe has no generals experienced in leading 
such masses, and none experienced in the keeping of 
armies supplied with provisions and ammunitions on a 
scale even approaching that which will be needed in the 
future. If dealing with such complex problems the 
commander-in-chief prove incapable, tremendous losses 
are bound to be sustained before he can be superseded. 


Not only the question of supreme command, but the 
action of subordinate commanders, and of the officers 
generally, in view of the way in which troops will be 
scattered and of their loose relations to one another, and 
in view of the difficulty of taking advantage of cover as a 
consequence of smokeless or nearly smokeless powder, 
has become considerably more complex, and in future 
much more independent action will be required from 
officers. But in this necessary independence of action 
lies concealed another great danger. 

Every meeting with an enemy will prove more threaten- 
ing, and every mistake, every hesitation will have much 
more serious consequences than in the past, both in its 
material and its moral relations. A cloud of smoke will 
not cover the battlefield, concealing the horrors of the 
conflict. The soldier will not see the enemy, or hear the 
shot which may deprive him of life, but he will see 
around him his dead companions. As a consequence of 
such conditions, the nerves of all, in the battles of the 
future, will be subjected to a terrible and hitherto unexpe- 
rienced strain. 

The lack of officers trained in warfare is another 
notable fact. Since the Franco-German war twenty-nine 
years have passed, and since the last Russo-Turkish war 
twenty-two years. But even if these wars were less remote, 
conclusions drawn from them would be inapplicable to 
modern conditions, all the more so because each of these 
wars was characterised by exceptional circumstances. In 
the war of 1870-71 the strength and qualities of the two 
armies were too unequal, while the war of 1877-78, in 
European Turkey, presented itself chiefly in the form of 
the siege of a single fortress. Since then the introduction 
of smokeless powder, the general improvement of arms, 
and the growth of the importance of field fortifications, 
have completely changed the system of tactics. 

Of officers who have studied military science, not on 
exercise grounds but on the field of battle, there are fewer 
than there were in former wars, and in a few years there 
will be none at all The absence of experience must be 


replaced by scientific instruction. But military science in 
one important respect differs from other branches of know- 
ledge, inasmuch as its theoretical teaching is not accom- 
panied by the constant test of experiments, such as are 
made for instance in chemistry, mechanics, and medicine. 
Manoeuvres give neither complete nor trustworthy infor- 
mation, as much that is allowed would prove impos- 
sible in war, and moreover they lack what Bismarck, at 
the siege of Paris, called the " psychological moment." 
It was not without reason that General DragomirofF 
observed that manoeuvres would be much more instructive 
if even one out of a thousand cartridges contained a 

Meantime a fundamental change has taken place in the 
very elements of war from which depend, on the one hand, 
its course, and on the other, its influence on all the depart- 
ments of social order. On the field of battle, instead 
of moderate, easily supervised armies and their reserves, 
marching in deep and thick formation, elbow to elbow, there 
will advance whole peoples up to fifty years of age, com- 
manded for the most part (three-fourths) by officers from 
the reserve, who will have almost forgotten the military 

These immense mobs will have at their disposal new 
explosives of tremendous power, and arms with incompar- 
ably greater range and deadliness than before, but never 
tested in a great war. 

The immense extent of the theatre of war ; the vastness 
of the field of battle ; the difficulties presented by attack 
on entrenched positions and fortifications, and those 
natural defences on the battlefield which soldiers are now 
taught to utilise, and which inevitably will be utilised in 
view of the deadliness of modern fire ; the impossibility of 
massed attacks ; finally, the duration of battles, which may 
be prolonged for several days, and which owing to the im- 
possibility of pursuit may yield no decisive results — all 
these are new circumstances. 

In view of the increased importance of officers under 
these conditions, systematic attempts will be made in all 


European armies to kill off the officers of the enemy. Expe- 
rience even of the last wars, when it had not been adopted 
as a principle to disable the officers of the enemy, showed 
how possible was the rapid diminution of the number of 
officers on the field of battle. At the end of the Franco- 
German war at the head of battalions and half battalions 
stood reserve officers of lower rank, and even sergeant- 
majors. In December 1 870 in a Bavarian division there 
rem.ained but one line captain. 

As an illustration of what may happen in the future we 
may take the Chilian war, although only a part of the army 
of one of the combatants was armed with small-calibre 

The losses in two battles were as follows : 

Officers killed . . . . 23 per cent. 

,, wounded • • • 75 >> 

Men killed 13 n 

„ wounded . . . . 60 ,, 

The high percentage of officers killed vividly illustrates 
the heavy cost of leading masses in war. 

But the war of 1870 showed that if officers are lacking 
to give example the men will not attack. If this were so 
in 1870, what will be the case in the future, when for every 
hundred soldiers in the standing army it is proposed to 
draw from the reserves : 

By Italy 


260 men. 
350 „ 
566 „ 
573 ., 
361 .. 

The majority of these reservists will have forgotten 
what they learnt during their period of service with the 
colours. Of the officers only a small proportion will be 
trained up to date. But it is in their hands that all leader- 
ship will rest. Yet the percentage of officers who possess 
a good preparatory training is : 


In Russia ..... 41 per cent. 

,, Germany . . . .100 „ 

„ France .... 38 „ 

„ Austria . . . . 20 ,, 

Thus although experience has superseded science, we 
find that the officers who have been serving continuously 
will constitute less than half the staff", the other half will 
consist of officers of the reserve of all denominations, the 
majority of whom will have long forgotten the military art. 
Of this first half almost all will be taken for the formation 
of new staffs, &c., and the supply of line officers will be 
so exhausted that at the front there will remain in each 
battalion no more than eight of such officers — that is, no 
more than a fifth part, or 20 per cent., a deficiency of 
four-fifths remaining which must be supplied partly by 
retired officers, and partly by sergeant-majors and non- 
commissioned officers, for the greater part taken from those 
serving with the colours, but to some extent even from the 

Thus every military undertaking owing to lack of 
leaders will present a terrible risk, and only daring 
advocates of a policy of adventure would now determine 
to solve international questions by war. 

The frontiers of all states are sown with fortresses and 
fortified camps, and every road by which invasion might 
be made is prepared for defence beforehand. Even in 
times of peace immense forces stand at short distances 
from one another, and for the purpose of reinforcing them 
quickly strategical railroads have been built, so disposed 
that there can be no talk of the occupation of any country 
at once. A few days after mobilisation the opposing 
armies will almost directly confront one another. 

In former times to hold great masses in hand, even in 
the case of failure, was comparatively easy. Long service 
and tactical exercises had turned soldiers into automata ; 
in manoeuvres as in war, great masses of men advanced, 
mighty by their own inert obedience. 

In the present day armies almost always advance and 
act in loose formation, and with this the influence of the 


mass on the individual unit disappears. It is obvious 
that for the attainment of success the employment of a 
thin line of riflemen will not be sufficient. It will be 
necessary to prepare for an assault by artillery fire, and 
then by gradually strengthening the firing line with 
reserves, after which the position of the enemy will be 
finally attacked. Napoleon said that no decision in favour 
of battle should be taken where the chances of success 
were less than 70 out of 100; for when battle is once 
begun either victory or destruction must result. This rule 
of course remains applicable at the present day, but it 
must be noted that, with the immensity of modern 
armies and the vast spaces covered by the field of battle, 
if it be not impossible it will at least be much more difficult 
to estimate chances of success and to foretell the course 
of events. 

Whatever technical improvements may exist, the first 
rule in battle is — obtain a superiority in numbers. The 
strategical problem (in the theatre of military operations) 
which lies in the union of forces exceeding the enemy's, 
corresponds in battle to the tactical problem, the acquire- 
ment of a preponderance at important points. Due de- 
fence, however, of the other points of one's position must 
be provided for, and the troops defending these latter points 
must sufficiently occupy the enemy's attention to prevent 
his forces from concentrating on the important point. A 
commander undertaking an assault must calculate the 
general consequences which will result from his initiative, 
and justly calculate as to his decisive blow, while provid- 
ing in the execution of his plan for those contingencies 
which arise in the moment of battle. 

Thanks to the system of furnishing troops with trenching 
instruments there will always be sufficient time for the 
construction of light earthworks, except of course on those 
occasions when the soil will prove frozen, marshy, or 
stony. A company by means of its own trenching tools 
may in the course of two and a quarter hours construct 
protection sufficient for a line of riflemen 250 paces in 
length. Small trenches, 100 paces long, for the protection 


of a whole company also require no more than two and a 
quarter hours, but larger earthworks and cover for artillery 
need from two and a half to eight hours' time. A battery 
is also provided with trenching tools, so that in the course 
of from two and a half to eight hours, according to the 
magnitude of the work, it may construct protection for its 

The chief difference between the tactics of modern and 
those of ancient times consists undoubtedly in the rare 
employment nowadays of direct attack. With modern 
arms and modern systems of defence generally, direct 
attack is accompanied by such immense losses that com- #/• 
manders, in all probability, will prefer flank attacks, espe- 
cially if the enemy occupy a strongly fortified position. 

But for this a considerable superiority of force will be 
required. In the words of Von der Goltz, the growing 
power of resistance of every military unit will enable a 
single division to accept battle with an army corps if it be 
confident of reinforcement within a brief time by another 
division. Even if the first division were exhausted by 
battle, yet so much time would be required for its decisive 
defeat that it might await the arrival of strong reinforce- 
ments, when the course of the battle might be entirely 

As an example we may cite the case of the army 
manoeuvres in Eastern Prussia in the presence of the 
Emperor in 1894. Two divisions of the First Army 
Corps found themselves at the distance of a day's march 
from one another, yet the first of them succeeded in holding 
out against the assaults of the 17th Army Corps till the 
arrival of the second division, after which the defending 
divisions succeeded even in gaining some advantage over 
the enemy. In addition to this the flanking army cannot 
be certain that it will not meet with a fortified position on 
its road, and to count upon the negligence of the enemy 
would be foolhardy. 

Formerly the conditions were much more favourable 
for attack. Napoleon, who, as the history of his 
campaign shows, always had a plan of battle ready, 


nevertheless allowed a considerable margin to accidents, 
to meet which he changed his plan in the very moment 
of action. " It is necessary," he said, " to strike at the 
enemy and then to think what further to do." This policy 
answered well at a time when, although armies were very 
large, the commander nevertheless held in his hand all the 
threads of the battle, thanks to the fact that with clouds of 
smoke, short range weapons and the closer order of the 
armies, he could himself follow the course of the battle, 
learn precisely all its events, and have ready close at hand 
considerable reserves. In the future such direct command 
will be incomparably more difficult, and, in consequence, in 
order to preserve unity of action it will be necessary to 
observe more rigorously the original plan. 

Not only the question of supreme command, but also 
the action of the subordinate commanders and of officers 
generally, in consequence of the loose formation of armies 
and of the difficulty of taking advantage of the ground 
owing to smokeless powder, has become much more com- 
plex. In the war of 1870 one of the circumstances which 
helped the Germans to victory was that the German officers 
were much more independent and self-reliant than the 

But what would the result have been if the French 
army had not been from the very beginning several times 
weaker than the German, and had been even in part well 
trained ? 

The following is the judgment of the Prussian General 
Janson : "The characteristic features of the campaign of 
1870-71 were, on the German side, a general advance and 
extraordinary liberty of the subordinate commanders — 
even down to captains. But this was accompanied by 
such dismemberment in the leadership that if the first 
attack had not succeeded there might have been the 
greatest danger for the attacking armies." 

Let us examine a modern battle. As examples we will 
quote two sketches, the one borrowed from the celebrated 
work of Von der Goltz, the other from the French Captain 
Nigote. Both these sketches represent the course of a 


battle in its general features, and the second shows great 
skill also in depicting the battle of the future — that is, a 
probable picture of a battle under modern conditions. 

Goltz describes an accidental battle, and then considers 
the differences between such a conflict and a battle which 
has formed part of the plans of the commanders-in-chief. 
It is obvious that in the accidental battle the chief part 
will be played by the eye of the commander-in-chief, his 
readiness in the appreciation of complex circumstances, 
and his resolution. " In such a state of affairs," he says, 
" the fortune of battle will lie with the commander who 
first comes to a clear decision, and who judges better the 
most distant events of the battle." On the other hand, in 
the " planned battle " all is arranged in advance, although 
plans may demand alteration owing to changed cir- 
cumstances, contingencies requiring from the commander 
ability to take advantage rapidly of his position. 

This picture gives no image of that which will happen. 

The French Colonel B. in his composition " La Poudre 
sans Fumee," which awakened much interest, says : 
" Having no means of precisely judging our position, the 
enemy will be constrained to advance towards us in 
marching columns in order to deploy immediately on the 
discovery of our lines. But where shall he gain informa- 
tion ? He will be struck by artillery fire from a great 
distance, and the position of this artillery will be extremely 
difficult to determine precisely. . . . He will neither hear 
nor see enough for his purposes, and thus in a particular 
sense the words of Scripture may be applied : ' Eyes have 
they and they see not, ears have they and they hear not.' 
Reconnaissances and other means may be employed to 
determine the position of an enemy, but after these are 
made, changes in disposition may have taken place, and 
basing his operations on information thus obtained, an 
enemy may open fire on unoccupied points, and waste his 
ammunition, firing, as is said, ' at the sparrows.' " 

Thus smokeless powder ensures long ignorance of 
positions and much search, and in consequence serious 
losses until the true position of things is ascertained. If 


the attacking troops be opposed by a capable and active 
foe, the period of uncertainty may cost them immense 

But the battle is now in full play. We will quote here 
the picture of a modern battle drawn by Captain Nigote. 
This picture is, of course, only the fruit of imagination, as 
all the new instruments of extermination have not yet 
been employed in practice. But imagination has worked 
upon a knowledge of the subject, and Captain Nigote's 
picture has as much claim on our attention as other 
theoretical sketches. 

" The distance is 6600 yards from the enemy. The 
artillery is in position, and the command has been passed 
along the batteries to * give fire.' The enemy's artillery 
replies. Shells tear up the soil and burst ; in a short time 
the crew of every gun has ascertained the distance of the 
enemy. Then every projectile discharged bursts in the 
air over the heads of the enemy, raining down hundreds of 
fragments and bullets on his position. Men and horses 
are overwhelmed by this rain of lead and iron. Guns 
destroy one another, batteries are mutually annihilated, 
ammunition cases are emptied. Success will be with 
those whose fire does not slacken. In the midst of this 
fire the battahons will advance. 

"Now they are but 2200 yards away. Already the 
rifle bullets whistle around and kill, each not only find- 
ing a victim, but penetrating files, ricochetting, and strik- 
ing again. Volley succeeds volley, bullets in great hand- 
fuls, constant as hail and swift as lightning deluge the field 
of battle. 

"The artillery having silenced the enemy, is now free 
to deal with the enemy's battalions. On his infantry, 
however loosely it may be formed, the guns direct thick 
iron rain, and soon in the positions of the enemy the earth 
is reddened with blood. 

"The firing lines will advance one after the other, 
battalions will march after battalions ; finally, the reserves 
will follow. Yet with all this movement in the two armies 
there will be a belt a thousand paces wide, separating 


them as if neutral territory, swept by the fire of both 
sides, a belt in which no living being can stand for a 

*' The ammunition will be almost exhausted, millions of 
cartridges, thousands of shells will cover the soil. But 
the fire will continue until the empty ammunition cases 
are replaced with full. 

" Melinite bombs will turn farmhouses, villages and 
hamlets to dust, destroying everything that might be used 
as cover, obstacle, or refuge. 

" The moment will approach when half the combatants 
will be mowed down, dead and wounded will lie in parallel 
rows, separated one from the other by that belt of a 
thousand paces swept by a cross fire of shells which no 
living being can pass. 

" The battle will continue with ferocity. But still those 
thousand paces unchangingly separate the foes. 

" Which will have gained the victory ? Neither." 

This picture serves to illustrate a thought which, since 
the perfection of weapons, has occupied the minds of all 
thinking people. What will take place in a future war ? 
Such are constrained to admit that between the com- 
batants will always be an impassable zone of fire deadly 
in an equal degree to both the foes. 

With such conditions, in its application to the battles of 
the future, the saying of Napoleon seems very question- 
able : " The fate of battle is the result of one minute, of 
one thought, the enemies approach with different plans, 
the battle becomes furious ; the decisive moment arrives, 
and a happy thought sudden as lightning decides the con- 
test, the most insignificant reserve sometimes being the 
instrument of a splendid victory." 

It is much more probable that in the future both sides 
will claim the victory. Examples of indecisive battles are 
found even in the war of 1870. Thus near Metz three 
battles took place which really constituted parts of one 
great battle. But which was decisively victorious at Metz? 
In reality neither. The German artillery proved its 
superiority ; the French infantry, armed with the Chasse- 


pot, proved its. Notwithstanding heroic efforts on both 
sides, neither one army nor the other gained a victory in 
the older and decisive sense of the word. 

The shutting up of the French army in the fortress and 
its subsequent surrender were the consequence of the 
cutting off of supplies, the result of the numerical supe- 
riority of the Germans. Theirs was not a victory of genius 
or military initiative — it was a victory of figures. 

In a future war these conditions will be all the more 
important since the seal and sign of victory — the pursuit 
of the enemy — will be almost impossible. The celebrated 
Liebert puts the matter in a few words : " In the past 
battles were ended thus : the field was ours, the enemy 
turned in flight ; the command to pursue was passed from 
flank to flank, and this crisis put strength into weary 
limbs ; instinctively horses were spurred, all thought only 
of drawing the greatest possible profit from victory, of 
causing the enemy even greater loss. Now matters are 
very different." Infantry having sustained modern destruc- 
tive fire for a whole day, will be in a state of prostration, and 
so vast will be the space occupied by the army that even 
the reserves who are on the spot at the end of the battle 
will not b~ fresh. As for cavalry, while rifle and artillery 
fire are powerful it must keep at a distance. Napoleon's 
cavalry constantly went into attack at a trot, but Seidlitz 
at Zorndorf led his cavalry at a trot to within one hundred 
paces from the enemy, and at this distance raised it to a 
gallop. In the face of modern fire, cavalry must exert all 
its strength to gallop across the zone of extermination. 

In view of the difficulty of direct attack in the face of 
modern fire, the idea naturally occurs of attacking under 
cover of night. Some military writers attribute immense 
importance to night attacks ; others, for a variety of 
reasons, find them inconvenient. Concerning this ques- 
tion, it is useful to cite the opinion of Lieutenant-General 
Puzuirevski as the most impartial. General Puzuirevski 
emphasises the laboriousness of movement by night after 
the work of the day, the difficulty of maintaining dis- 
cipline, and the difficulty of looking after the soldiers. 
" Notwithstanding all this," says this authority, " move- 


ments by night are sometimes necessary in war, and 
therefore must be reckoned with." 

Modern military history presents a remarkable example 
of a night attack — at Gorni Dubnak on October 12, 1877. 
After great losses the army was unable to continue the 
assault, but remained on the captured positions close to 
the enemy's trenches, and on the approach of night rushed 
upon the redoubts and captured them with trifling loss. 

General DragomirofF emphasises the following advan- 
tages of night attack: The attacking body may escape 
observation for some time ; it may find an unexpectant 
enemy, whose fire under such circumstances will be insig- 
nificant, and the bayonet may also be employed. General 
Dragomiroflf finds that such operations as the storming of 
Kars and the battle of Kagaretch, where the Turks pos- 
sessed an immense preponderance of forces, are possible 
only by night, and that generally in view of the destruc- 
tiveness of modern fire, it will be necessary to accustom 
soldiers to operations by night. General Kuropatkin also 
declares himself in favour of night attacks, although he 
thinks they will succeed easier with small bodies of troops, 
and that picked men will be required. 

On the other hand, the majority of foreign writers 
expect little profit out of night attacks. It is true that the 
French authority, Colonel B.,* thinks that having the advan- 
tage of smokeless powder the attacking body may approach 
very near to the enemy and create a panic in his ranks, 
but the author of an article in the Nene Militdrische Blatter, \ 
as an illustration of the danger of mistakes by night, quotes 
a case in the war of 1870 when the loist Regiment of the 
French army, having come into conflict by night with a 
superior force of Germans, was defeated, and immediately 
fell under the fire of their comrades, who mistook them for 
the enemy. Hoenigt cites as example the battle at Le 
Mans in 1 87 1 , in which the Germans gained possession of all 
positions, but in another place he expresses himself de- 
cidedly against night attacks, on the ground that panics may 
easily occur in the attacking force. 

* " La Poudre sans Fumde." t Jahrgang 1890, p. 286. 

t " Die Taktik der Zukunft," pp. 170 and 286. 


However it may be, preparations are made in all armies 
for such contingencies. An illuminating bomb has been 
invented which burns from one to three minutes, according 
to calibre, and electrical projectors also which are capable 
of illuminating houses at a distance of 5500 yards, and 
by the aid of which the smallest movement on the part 
of the enemy may be observed. 

It is unquestionable that the possibility of a night attack 
will cause great anxiety in every army. In former wars 
there were many cases of false alarms and panics. As- 
suredly they will be more common in future, as the dangers 
of war have increased, the nerves of modern soldiers are 
weaker, and owing to the system of short service, soldiers 
cannot be inured as were the veterans of the past. As 
far as nerves are concerned it may be assumed that the 
superiority will lie with the Russian soldier. The endur- 
ance shown by the Russian soldiers in the passage of the 
Balkans in the winter of 1877-78 awakened the astonish- 
ment of strangers. The Prussian General Von Kahler 
declared that the work which they accomplished surpassed 
the strength of men. 

The following well-known saying of Napoleon is no 
longer applicable, " When the battle is over the vanquished 
in reality are little weaker than the victors, but the moral 
result constitutes such a great difference that the appear- 
ance of two or three squadrons is enough to cause great 
results." We have seen that such authoritative writers as 
the Prussian General Janson and the French Professor 
Langlois prophesy that battles will last several days, but 
a French Captain (formerly Professor) Nigote says 
plainly that battles may last for three or four days or 
even for a fortnight.* Other miliiary specialists, and 
among them the well-known writer Fritz Hoenig,f think it 
not improbable that we are returning to the epoch of 
sieges. Belgrade, Mantua, and Plevna may be repeated. 
It is very possible that the attacking armies, finding 
decisive victory unattainable, will attempt to enclose the 
enemy in the position where they find him, and, after 

* " La Bataille de Vesles," Capt. Nigote. 
t Op. cit, ante. 


entrenching themselves, begin to make raids in order to 
prevent the provisioning of the besieged. Such operations 
would be continued until the enemy are starved out. 

It is hard to imagine it otherwise, when we remember 
that, with much inferior weapons, even the badly trained 
French mobiles of 1870 were rarely beaten at once, a 
second day having usually been necessary to drive them 
from newly occupied positions. 

But the nature of the future war will be influenced by 
fortresses to an extent hitherto unknown. In the past, 
fortresses were situated in the more important strategical 
positions, but were only individual points equipped for 
passive defence. Nowadays, at all the most important 
thoroughfares are situated fortresses and fortified camps 
which contain such immense masses of troops that their 
turning is inconceivable. In addition to these, railways 
and roads are specially built to ensure the rapid con- 
centration of troops immediately after war is declared ; 
and, if the concentration of the enemy's troops should 
make it necessary, to provide for the quick transportation of 
troops from one spot to another. 

Having constructed such works on their frontiers. States 
consider it more than probable that they will be able with 
inferior forces to oppose an enemy, thus counterbalancing 
all the advantages which he may draw from the more 
rapid accomplishment of mobilisation. But, however 
powerful modern systems of defence may be, science has 
yet contrived such destructive weapons that the question 
has already arisen : How many fortresses in a future war 
will accomplish that purpose for which they are destined ? 
This question has been the object of especial attention in 
military literature. 

For us, the question whether modern fortresses will 
justify the hopes placed in them has an importance of the 
first degree. If an attacking army be held upon the 
frontier for a long time in conflict with an enemy defending 
himself in fortified positions prepared beforehand, the 
economic consequences of war will be very different from 
those which would follow if the invaders were to break at 
once through the lines of defences, and, having defeated the 


defenders in the interior of their own country, were within 
a short time to occupy the greater part of their territory. 

All examples from the past, and even the history of the 
two last campaigns, throw little light on this question. 
Although fortress warfare in 1870-71 had an importance 
hardly dreamt of before, as the Germans captured fifteen 
French fortresses, still the methods taken from this 
campaign can hardly be applicable to the future. The 
objects of attack, with, to some extent, the exception of 
Paris, Metz, and Belfort, were fortresses of an obsolete 
type, and their defence was badly conducted. 

On the other hand, the battles at Plevna, in the war of 
1877-78, mainly proved the close bonds which exist 
between field and fortress warfare. But it has become 
clear to all that in a future war the example of the Turks 
will be followed as much as possible by an army acting on 
the defensive. At Plevna the besieged had but an insig- 
nificant quantity of artillery, yet the thought of taking 
Plevna by storm had to be abandoned ; it was hunger 
alone which compelled Osman to attempt to break out, 
and Plevna fell only after all the methods of siege warfare 
had been put in operation. 

Since those days the science of fortress construction has 
made great advances, while, on the other hand, the means 
of attack have increased proportionately. The subject of 
fortress construction is very complicated, and its full 
elucidation would require detailed technical exposition, 
which would have too special a character. 

Here we can quote only the general conclusions to 
which a study of the best authorities leads. The more 
important the fortress the more difficult will it be for the 
attacking army to pass it, since, if the fortress contained 
troops in a condition to attack, they would threaten the 
communications of the invaders. To seek a guarantee 
against such operations merely by placing against it posts 
of observation is impossible, since if the fortress contains a 
capable commander he will attack and defeat these detach- 
ments. The investment of great fortresses, from which 
vigorous sallies might be made, requires large armies and 
considerable time. 


For the investment of a modern fortress, say, with 
thirteen forts, with intervening distances of 2i miles, 
and with fortified batteries between the forts, would require, 
according to a calculation made by Brialmont, an army 
of 122,000 men and a special siege corps of 50,000 men, 
in all 172,000 men. It may be mentioned here that the 
line of investment of Paris required 2 "8 men for every 
3^ feet of fighting line. For the investment of the fortress 
postulated by Brialmont, according to this precedent, the 
investing army must be 246,400 strong, or together with 
a special siege corps, 296,400 men and not merely 172,000. 

In order to give some idea 01 the time required for the 
siege of a modern fortress we will cite the approximate 
estimate, taken from a French publication on the attack 
and defence of fortresses : * 

Period of investment, 
and arrival of sieg- 
ing weapons, &c. 

Attack on forts 
the first line. 


Defeat of the enemy's 

advanced lines . 8 days 

Occupation of posi- 
tions for close ia- 
vestment of the 
fortress . . . 10 „ 

Setting in position 
and construction 
of parks . . 12 „ ^ 

/ Construction and \ 

equipment of bat- 
teries of the first 
position . . .12 
Artillery duels and 

bombardment , 8 
Occupation of posi- 
tions for batteries 
of second position, 

\ &c. . . .25 

y 30 days. 



Successive capture of contiguous forts and attack on 
interlying defensive lines 

Attack and capture of the fortress itself 



120 days 

* '• Attaque et defense des places fortes ou Guerre de si^ge." 
Publi6e avec le concours d'officiers de toutes armes et tout le 
patronage de la Reunion des officiers, Bruxelles 1886. 


At the present day there is a conviction widely spread 
among military engineers and artillerists that, in view of 
the perfection of modern artillery, fortresses will not be 
subjected to siege, but will be attacked with open force. 
The downward firing of shrapnel out of short guns and 
mortars will deprive the fortification of defence ; direct 
fire from heavy artillery will batter the walls and open 
a free path for the storm of the fortress ; the introduc- 
tion of shells containing five and a half hundred-weight 
of powerful explosives, will so increase the destructive 
power even of individual shots that all the older construc- 
tions will prove worthless, and even the new fortifications 
defended with armour will prove little better. Even a 
comparatively short bombardment with such projectiles 
will be sufficient to make the fortifications useless to the 

The chief upholder of such opinions is General Von 
Sauer, who proposes a system of shortened attack. The 
difference between systematic and accelerated attack in 
the exposition of General Sauer consists in the following : 
" Systematic or regular attack is directed mainly on one 
side of the fortress, while accelerated attack threatens all 
accessible sides. And since on the employment of the first 
method the besieged may devote all their strength to the 
defence of one side and even of one threatened point, 
accelerated attack is calculated to prevent such concentra- 
tion, thus making it easier to overcome the scattered 
strength of the defence." 

Against systematic attack the measures of defence con- 
sist firstly in this. The front or fronts which, according 
to the position of the roads are the nearest to materials 
which might serve for the construction of batteries and 
which by the configuration of the country will be most 
threatened, will be strongly fortified in advance. Against 
accelerated attack, which will be founded on considerations 
rather tactical than technical, it will be necessary to fortify 
strongly all fronts, for which resources will not always be 
found. But it is relying precisely on this circumstance, 
on the mobility of modern artillery, and on the difficulty of 


complete protection from projectiles, that the "tactical" 
attack is founded — the attack, as will easily be conceived, 
being directed not on the strong but on the weak parts of 
the defence. 

But the defenders of a fortress will oppose the enemy 
with four consecutive lines of obstacles, that is, a first line 
of opposition, a chief defensive line, an intermediate line 
or line of reserves, and finally, a fortified unbroken rampart 
or central citadel. The capture of even the first line will 
require considerable effort, since this will consist of a series 
of field defences. The field will be strewn with numerous 
but small earthworks in the form of pits which the enemy 
cannot see from afar, and upon which artillery will have 
little effect, while, on the other hand, the skilful marksmen 
concealed in these pits may cause considerable loss. 

In the attack on the chief defensive line it must be 
remembered that the improvements made in small arms 
and in artillery will prove as much in favour of the defence 
as of the attack. 

The North American war of 1861-64, the Franco- 
Prussian war of 1870-71, and the Russo-Turkish war of 
1877-78 offer sufficient examples of the immense efforts 
and sacrifices which will be required in order finally to 
overcome an antagonist who has turned his circumstances 
to advantage in advance. What will happen in the war of 
the future when the defenders will have the support of a 
whole system of defensive works ready at hand ? 

Milliards have been expended in Germany and France 
since 1870, in Russia since 1882, and in Italy, Austria, 
Belgium, and Switzerland in more recent times, in attempts 
to render frontiers impregnable, and, to provide for the 
contingency of the frontier defences failing to stop the 
enemy, on other defensive points at a greater distance 
from the frontiers. 

Not only are the frontiers of all states studded with 
fortresses, but even in time of peace great forces stand at 
short distances from one another, and for the conveyance 
to them of reinforcements a system of railways exists so 
complete, that from the very outbreak of war armies will 


almost immediately confront one another, and the space 
free for movement will be very small. With these condi- 
tions, in the war of the future an operation hitherto un- 
known must be undertaken — namely, to break through 
frontier defences. In view of the hundreds of thousands 
of soldiers who will immediately be concentrated, the 
breaking of a frontier line without a whole series of battles 
is inconceivable. 

The defenders, says General Leval, will know in ad- 
vance the approximate position of the field of battle. They 
know the chief points of the enemy's concentration, indi- 
cated by the position of his roads and military stores. 
Mass attracts mass, such is the law of gravitation in war. 
The enemy will advance upon our main forces, and even 
the points of conflict may be approximately prophesied. 
And so those "great uncertainties," of which we hear so 
much, from the very beginning of war will not exist, and 
both sides will have full possibility to fortify themselves 
in corresponding positions. 

The present armaments of all European armies may be 
taken as equal in effectiveness, and the preparation of the 
soldiers, both as concerns training and courage is the 
same. Therefore, if we set aside the capacity of the 
commander-in-chief, as something which cannot be fore- 
seen, we shall be obliged to conclude that the only element 
of inequality is the number of soldiers in the ranks. 
Supposing equality in the numerical relation, there would 
be complete balance between the opposing forces, and equal 
probability of success on both sides. From this the 
question naturally springs — With the equality of strength 
which France and Russia have as against the Triple 
Alliance, will it be possible for the armies of the attacking 
powers in the present state of fortified frontiers to attain 
any immediate and decisive success ? 

Comparison with the past gives us little information 
in this respect. We find ourselves confronted with 
an awful phenomenon. In all armies a theory is pro- 
claimed as to the superiority of offensive action. But 
meantime such strong positions have been created for 


defence that their existence cannot be without influence 
on the course of events. The war of the future, whatever 
may be said, will be a struggle for fortified positions, and 
for that reason it must be prolonged. 

If, in addition to the advance towards perfected 
mechanism, another fundamental change had not taken 
place, then it might have been possible out of the past to 
draw conclusions as to the future. But to-day whole 
nations will be under arms, the flower of every race 
— millions of men, just taken from the ranks of the 
workers, the producers of the substance of the people. 
The places they forsake will remain unoccupied, and their 
absence will be felt every day. The news of their fate 
will be waited with anxiety by the remaining millions ; 
the destruction of whole divisions will call forth the groans 
and it may be the protests of hundreds of millions of 

But the majority of those military writers who pay 
attention to the technical conditions of the matter, look on 
the question of the future war so objectively that they fail 
to see its relations with psychological and sociological 
questions — to express it in a word, they disregard the 
human side of the question. For this reason investigation 
of the conditions of a future war cannot be limited to the 
comparative military efficiency of the different States. 
Armies at present are the products of nations them- 
selves. But the people, as Taine observ^ed, judge not 
with the head but with the heart. It is therefore in the 
sentiments of the people that we must seek an indication 
of the frame of mind with which armies will enter upon 
war, and some guide as to the consequences among them 
of the first successes or failures. The temper of armies 
is a product of enlightenment, national character, culture, 
preponderance of civil or agricultural population, and those 
political and social ideals which in certain times influence 
the various countries. 

Such were the considerations which impelled us to 
examine the data bearing on the condition and spirit of 
armies; to consider, for instance, those impressions which 


will be caused on the field of battle by the absence of a 
thick cloud of smoke obscuring the riflemen. Speaking 
generally, we attempted to determine the military spirit of 
the various European peoples according to the character 
peculiar to each. We attempted to bring under considera- 
tion all that might be drawn from the study of former 
wars, in order to form an idea as to the qualities of the 
chief European armies. But conclusions drawn from 
former wars have but very conditional significance. The 
spirit of armies in different countries does not always remain 
at the same level; after great height sometimes follow 
sudden fall and changes. And such changes take place 
in periods no greater than that which separates us from 
the last great European war. 

A remarkable feature of our time is the rapidity with 
which changes occur both in the material and intellectual 
spheres. In the course of a few years greater changes 
take place in social life than formerly took place in 
decades. In this there is no ground for surprise. This 
great movement in life is ensured by the spread of 
education, the activity of parliaments, associations, the 
press, and means of communication. Under the influence 
of these conditions the intellect of the West finds itself 
under constant movement. 

Another characteristic feature of our time is thus empha- 
sised by Gervinus : " Movements in our century proceed 
from the instinct of the masses, and it is a very remark- 
able fact that in modern history are rarely found examples 
of the strong influence of individual personalities, rulers, 
or private workers. In our time as in the sixteenth 
century peoples move in masses." 

The list of great gifts decreases, while the number of 
moderate talents have grown to an extraordinary extent. 
Few great and exalted personalities are produced, but 
in the whole a great revolution in social life has taken 

It is for these reasons that the study of the spirit of 
armies in the future has such immense bearing upon the 
present work. 


It was necessary to ask ourselves the questions : What 
will be the temper of modern armies in the event of 
defeat, or even of victory, if war should be prolonged ? 
What will be the effect of the news from the field of battle 
on the civil population ? What convulsions must we expect 
after the conclusion of peace when millions of excited 
soldiers return to their destroyed and desolated homes ? 

We attempted to collect data for the consideration of 
these questions, and with this object classified them in 
their constituent elements, resting upon precedent modi- 
fied by the changes which have taken place in the consti- 
tution of armies, in armaments, and in tactics. But in 
order to draw from these data conclusions on all the 
different points, it would be necessary to make a tiresome 
repetition of the degrees of different qualities in armies, 
and, in addition, it would be difficult to represent in words 
with any precision the total of military qualities in the 
different armies in their twofold relationship — that is, their 
applicability to attack and defence. It would be necessary 
to cite the statistics of morals, culture, and sanitary con- 
dition of the various European armies. Only after such a 
laborious process could the system upon which we have 
estimated the respective values in attack and defence of 
the various European armies be followed. It is enough 
to give here the categories under which we have classified 
the elements which together constitute the general effi- 
ciency of armies : 

(i) Susceptibility of application to the new conditions of 

(2) Composition and completeness of the corps of officers. 

(3) Capacity for initiative. 

(4) Endurance under difficulty and privation. 

(5) Discipline. 

(6) Absence of egoism, dangerous for the general welfare. 

(7) Faith in leaders and in companions-in-arms. 

(8) Supplies and sanitary conditions. 

(9) Age, .disposition, and method for supplementing the 

lower ranks. 



(lo) Conviction in the merit of armaments, 
(ii) Courage. 

As the final result we have obtained the following figures, 
showing the comparative military efficiency of the chief 
European armies in attack and in defence : 

In Attack. 

In Defence. 

I St 













Austria .... 





Italy .... 





France . . , . 





Russia .... 





Of all the details in the above chapter we find most 
clearly in relief the threatening features which a future 
war must present, both as regards the sacrifices of the 
population, and as regards the risks which must be run 
by the states participating. But both these factors are 
explained more fully in the chapter devoted to " Plans of 
Military Operations." 



The first consideration to be taken into account in 
estimating the chances of the next great war is the change 
which has been brought about by the improvement in fire- 
arms and in the constitution of modern armies. These 
changes have all tended to the advantage of the de- 
fensive and against the attacking force. Previous wars 
under the old conditions had led to a conviction of the 
superiority of attack. The new conditions which will 
prevail in the future have reversed this opinion. Alike in 
the equipment of troops and in the system of fortifications, 
the changes have operated in favour of the defence. 

The total numbers of fighting men effective for war in 
1896 with their artillery were as follows : 

Thousands of men. 


In Germany 
„ Austria- Hungary . 
„ Italy . 







,, France . 
„ Russia . 



Together 5354 ... 12,272 

Detailed calculations lead to the following estimate of 
the probable distribution of the armies which might be 
placed in both theatres of war, after deducting those forces 
which would be employed on garrison duty in the interior 


of each country, and for the defence of the frontier against 
sudden intervention by any neutral State. 


In Thousands. 








In the Russo- 
man theatre 
of war . . 

In the Franco- 
German the- 
atre of war . 

In the Franco- 
Italian the- 
atre of war . 

Total . . 













2725 979 






It is obvious that all these troops could not at once be 
employed. The campaigns of the past were often begun 
with from one quarter to one-eighth part of the armies 
appointed for war. In the future the conditions in this 
relation will have entirely changed. Speed in mobilisation, 
as a consequence of the railways constructed specially for 
strategical purposes, will ensure the rapid concentration 
of armies at the very frontiers of States, reinforcing the 
large armed forces maintained there even in times of 
peace. All this makes it possible for immense armies to 
meet face to face. And as in every case the attacking side 
must exceed the defending in numbers, the question as to 
the disposition of armies near the frontier, and the means 
of transport of frontier forces to the positions which they 
must occupy in war, is one of the first importance. But 
it does not enter into the subject at present under dis- 
cussion. It will be sufficient here to quote the opinion of 
one of the first of modern military authorities, the Belgian 


General Brialmont. Brialmont estimates that France 
is in a position to mobilise immediately nineteen army 
corps, and Germany twenty, each army corps counting 
forty-five to fifty thousand men. These will constitute 
the first line of the operating armies. The armies of 
the second line, according to General Brialmont, will 
on both sides be formed of more than half a million 

Estimating thus, General Brialmont concludes that on 
the theatre of the future Franco-German war the forces of 
both sides will be almost equal, consisting, roughly speak- 
ing, of about 1,500,000 men on each side. In view of the 
fact that four years have passed since the time of General 
Brialmont's estimate and that two-years' service has been 
introduced into Germany, we may take the strength of the 
army of the second line at a million men. And since 
owing to the numerical equality of the opposing armies, 
and to the existence of the present fortifications, the 
advantage lies with the defending side, serious offensive 
action by Germany against France could be begun only 
after sending to the French frontier a great part ot the 
German army. Under such conditions, Germany, of 
course, could not even think of contemporaneous assault 
upon Russia. She would be constrained, after allotting 
portion of her forces for strengthening Austria, to limit her 
remaining free forces to defensive operations. It is for 
this reason that we accept the strength of the Austro- 
Hungarian army against Russia as 1,669,000 as against 
2*539,000 on the side of Russia. 

An examination of the views of all authorities leads to 
the conclusion that Germany, having possibilities for 
more rapid mobilisation and concentration, will aim at 
successes in the first operations, while France will 
organise all her obtainable resources with the aim of 
retrieving the first failures. In order to consider the 
possibilities arising from this position we found it neces- 
sary to consider the conditions under which a new attack 
by Germany on France or by France on Germany must be 
begun, and first of all to study the fortifications of the 



Franco-German frontier, and the probable paths of attack 
in Germany and France. 

From a consideration of these conditions it clearly 
appears that to pass the newly constructed frontier lines 
of fortresses is impossible ; and there exists no means of 
direct invasion of France by Germany except by the 
attack of fortified positions or the forcing of a path through 
narrow passages purposely left. These will be defended 
by forces which, within a short time after mobilisation, if 
they do not exceed the German armies, will at least equal 

It is true that the German army will be better than the 
French, but the estimate we have made shows the differ- 
ence to be insignificant. The effectiveness of the German 
army in attack and the French in defence may be thus 
expressed : 

ist Summons. 2nd Summons. 

German . . . 95 ... 80 

French . . . 85 ... 73 

Let us suppose that the German army will succeed in 
breaking through the frontier zone of operations and 
advancing on Paris by the routes indicated by General 
Brialmont. Having calculated the result of such operations, 
we come to the conclusion that at that time the French 
will have available 1,160,000 men, while for the siege of 
Paris the Germans wi.- have but 520,000 men. 

The former German Chancellor, Count Caprivi, a man 
unquestionably competent in military affairs, on the dis- 
cussion of the new miUtary law in Parliament, said : 

Supposing the French army were beaten, and retreated behind 
the walls of fortresses, then in order to enclose the present forti- 
fications of Paris we must have at our disposal eighteen army 
corps, in addition to corresponding reserves. It is very probable 
that the seige of Paris could now be carried on from one point 
only, but the example of Sevastopol shows that for this a whole 
year might be required. 

Meanwhile our examination of the conditions in which 
the besieging army would find itself led us to the conclusion 


that if the military strength of Germany proved sufficient 
for the investment of Paris and the protection of its own 
rear, even then social and economic conditions would not 
permit of such operations being carried to an end. 

Considering the possibility of an invasion of Germany 
by the French, it may be concluded that, with the present 
conditions of mobilisation and concentration of armies, 
such an invasion is probable only on the supposition that 
Germany in the beginning of the war limited herself in the 
west to defensive action, relying on the strength of Metz, 
Strasbourg, Thionville, and the Rhine fortresses, and 
sending her offensive resources to the east, calculating on 
the less rapid mobilisation of the Russian army. 

In the opinion of specialists the only possible path by 
which France can attack Germany lies between Blamont 
and Longwy, with a movement thence on Mayence. But 
what tremendous obstacles would have to be overcome at 
the very first ! The French would be obliged to cross, in 
the face of the German army relying upon the fortresses 
of Metz and Thionville, the Moselle and the Seille, and, 
defeating this army, blockade Metz and Strasbourg, take 
by assault the fortified positions on the Saar and the still 
stronger positions in the Hartz Mountains, and finally 
force a passage across the Rhine, about Mayence, Worms, 
Mannheim, or Speyers. And all this would have to be 
undertaken by armies which for attack are less efficient 
than the German. 

After considering, from all points of view, the possible 
invasion of Germany by a French army a million and a 
half strong, against which Germany would place in the 
field 600,000 field troops and 600,000 Landsturm, it 
appears that the investment of Mayence and the forcing of 
a passage across the Rhine would be impossible. After 
deducting the losses in battle and on the march, the troops 
allotted for the investment of fortresses and the guarding 
of communications, France would have available 350,000 
of the field army, whose quality may be expressed by the 
figure ^2^ and Germany 350,000 of the field army, whose 
effectiveness in defence may be expressed by the figure 98, 


and in addition a Landsturm whose effectiveness for 
defence is expressed by the figure 86. 

But we assumed that Germany for defence would call 
up 600,000 Landsturm ; the same supposition applies to 
France. To complete her forces she would call up 600,000 
men of the territorial army, which would be employed in 
secondary operations. Even with such conditions, which 
may be taken as very favourable to the French, it is hard 
to believe that the Rhine could be crossed. But even if 
the French army succeeded in forcing a passage across 
that river, after the losses sustained in the passage, and 
after the investment of Mayence, the French army would 
:ontain no more than 590,000 men, who would be opposed 
t>y 595)000 Germans, so that the numerical superiority 
would already be on the side of the Germans. 

In addition, Germany would have the Landsturm 
reserves, in number not less than 1,200,000 men. A part 
of this force might also be moved to the Rhine, and in 
such an event the French armies would find themselves in 
a hopeless position. 

In any case, we may safely prophesy a difficult and 
slow course of military operations, involving great losses, 
in consequence of the delay of immense forces by the 
defensive lines and fortifications of the enemy. And with 
the immensity of armies, and their prolonged stoppages 
on one spot, the difficulty of provisioning appears in- 

The losses from wounds, hunger, ordinary ailments, 
epidemics, and, it may be, even desertion, will cause all 
the more disorganisation in armies, because the war will 
disturb the internal life both of Germany and France. 
To decide whether Germany or France would prove itself 
stronger and more stable in its economic and social 
relations is difficult. The statistics of France and Germany 
show that both these states possess in an almost equal 
degree elements of endurability against the destructive 
influences of war. With such conditions, it is difficult to 
conceive that the statesmen of France or Germany would 
undertake a war. 


Let us turn to the other possible theatre of a great 
European war and consider the operations of Germany, 
Austria and Russia. In this theatre also the most notable 
fact is the great chain of fortresses and defensive lines. 
As in Russia, so in Germany the attacking army will meet 
on its path great groups of fortresses and fortified positions, 
in mutual inter-relationship, and serving as a support for 
the operations of defensive armies. To invest such for- 
tresses without sanguinary battles would be impossible, 
to force a passage in spite of them is difficult, while to 
evade them could only be done after leaving considerable 
forces behind for the protection of communications. 

The alliances concluded between Germany, Austria and 
Italy on the one hand, and Russia and France on the 
other, in view of the great differences which exist between 
the strength and endurance of these states, render possible 
a great variety of combinations in actual war. In con- 
sidering a struggle between France, Germany and Italy, 
plans of military operations are comparatively easy to 
define. In the case of an Austro-German-Russian war the 
conditions are much more complex. Here present them- 
selves a greater number of combinations resulting from 
the vast extent of the theatre of war, and a greater room 
for initiative, owing to great differences in the period of 
mobilisation and concentration, but chiefly owing to the 
totally different social, political, and economic conditions. 

The majority of writers assume that Germany would 
decide at the beginning to strike with all her force at one 
of her enemies, and having broken down his opposition, 
would attempt by means of railroads to move her main 
forces to the other theatre of war. 

From this the question arises, to which frontier would 
she first direct her forces ? In order to form a clear idea 
on this subject it is necessary to take into consideration 
certain circumstances. 

We have given reasons for assuming that the mobili- 
sation and concentration of the German army would be 
carried through more speedily than that of the French or 
Russian armies. From this it follows that so far as Russia 


is concerned the initiative of action will belong to Germany. 
The German government, when demanding from the 
Reichstag credit for the increase of the army — and the 
Emperor William himself, on every convenient occasion — 
declared that the reason for demanding from the people 
such great sacrifices lay in the fact that Germany would 
be compelled to carry on offensive operations on two 
frontiers, and that if any o*her course were adopted 
German territory might be subjected to an invasion 
inevitably accompanied by the most terrible disasters 
for the people. But as it turned out, all the European 
powers immediately followed in the footsteps of Germany, 
and the relationship of strength remained unchanged, so 
that the German-Austro-Italian alliance has not now 
sufficient preponderance of strength for Germany to carry 
on serious offensive operations on both frontiers ; and, 
considering the defensive strength of the French and 
Russian frontiers and also the defensive strength of the 
German frontier itself, such an attempt would hardly seem 

With a division of forces the war would be still more 
prolonged, yet the immediate interest of Germany is to 
overthrow as quickly as possible one of its opponents, since 
Austria and Italy are less capable than she is of enduring 
the financial and social influences which would be aroused 
by a prolonged war. In the event of a lengthened campaign 
one or both of the allies of Germany might be compelled 
to cease military operations before the objects of the 
allies were attained. In addition to this, Germany must 
count upon the fact that her adversaries occupy a strong 
position for defence, so that the occupation of their 
defensive lines would demand immense sacrifices. 

For such reasons it appears most probable that Germany 
would direct the greatest number and the best of her troops 
against one of her adversaries, placing on the other frontiers 
only such forces as would be required to support Austria 
against Russia or Italy against France. Other forms of 
operations on the part of Germany are hard to conceive. 
Some suppose that the chief strength of Germany will first 


be turned against France as more sensitive and less powerful 
than Russia, and not until she has broken down the 
opposition of France will she turn on her more dangerous 
enemy, Russia. Others assume that Germany will take 
the opposite course, striking first at Russia, the frontiers 
of which may not be so stubbornly defended as the frontiers 
of France, in consequence of the greater spaces, the absence 
of mountains, deep rivers and other obstacles, and also 
because of the slower mobilisation and concentration of the 
Russian forces. But what is more important, out of fear 
that Austria might be crushed at once, Germany may be 
forced to begin operations first of all against Russia, for the 
defence of her Western frontier relying upon Metz and the 
Rhine fortifications and on the diversion created by the 
Italians. The probabil.t}' cf such initiative is indicated 
also by the concentration of Germany's greatest forces on 
the Russian frontier. For Germany would have no need 
of such a concentration of troops on a frontier in time of 
peace if she did not intend to act offensively. 

In a work published some years ago by Colonel Zolotaref, 
of the General Staff, devoted to an investigation of the 
Russian theatre of military operations, the following view 
is expressed : 

Our adversaries will not fail to take advantage of the only 
superiority which they have over us, that is to say, their more 
rapid mobilisation and concentration, in order at once to cut off 
from Russia the western part of the theatre of war, to prevent 
reinforcement, and in a short time to make themselves masters 
of that territory. But this obj :ct could not be attained until they 
had succeeded in taking Brest- Litovsk, that important meeting- 
place of internal communications situated at the entrance to a 
difficult country. Thus, on the roads leading to Brest-Litovsk 
we must pay attention, as the most probable lines of operation, 
of an enemy. 

We have seen that the armed forces of the Triple and 
the Dual Alliances may be taken as almost equal, although 
as far as numbers are concerned some preponderance 
remains on the side of Russia and France. Adopting 
the supposition that Germany decides in the beginning of 


the war to stand on the defensive against Russia, we 
must ask ourselves on which of its defensive Hues the 
German army will stand, on its eastern frontier or on the 
territory of Russia ? Major Scheibert,* of the German 
General Staff, supposes that the war will be begun against 
Russia as against France by strategical attack, but that 
after this, offensive operations must be discontinued on 
one theatre of war, in order, with concentrated forces, to 
strike a decisive blow at the other enemy. But when 
attack is discontinued it will be necessary to guarantee 
the successes gained by extensive fortifications. If this 
stoppage is made in the Western Provinces of Russia, 
Major Scheibert thinks that without great trouble the 
junction-points of roads and railways may be fortified by 
means of armoured gun carriages which can be speedily 
furnished from the German depots. He further proposes 
to fortify the occupied Russian territory by crowding the 
rivers with steamers of small size {die Flussnetze mit kleinen 
Dampfern zu bevolkern), thus protecting the territory 
occupied by the Germans, helping the study of the 
locality, and facilitating the manoeuvres of troops. He 
advises the organisation of communications between the 
different fortified points by lines of railways and steamers. 
In other words. Major Scheibert advocates the occupation 
of the kingdom of Poland. 

Let us criticise these proposals more closely. 

The kingdom of Poland forms a wedge between Prussia 
and Austria to such a distance that the Russian armies on 
the frontier may threaten Berlin, and what is more may 
take in flank Prussian forces sent into Eastern Prussia. 
But for precisely the same reason. Eastern Prussia forms 
a wedge between the Baltic Sea and Russian territory, 
bending round Poland and piercing to the Niemen, which 
makes it possible for the Germans to threaten the Russian 
forces in Poland by an advance on Brest and farther in 
the direction of Moscow, and also to operate directly 
against the second Russian defensive line of Kovno- 

* " Aus der militarischen gesellschaft," Berlin, 1893. 



Vilna, evading the first Russian position. In the opinion 
of the great majority of writers the defensive system of 
Russian Poland has been brought to perfection. (See 
map on next page of Russian Defensive System.) 

In view of the strength which the Russian armies would 
present for the defence of the territories between the 
rivers Vistula, Bug, and Narev, supported by fortified 
positions on the Narev at Pultusk, Rozhan, Ostrolenka, and 
Lomza, and the fortresses of Warsaw, Novogeorgievski, 
and Zegrze, the military writers. Generals Brialmont, 
Pierron, and other foreign students, and Colonel Zolotaref 
assume that Germany, if she were to decide at first to 
turn her chief forces against Russia, would undertake an 
energetic offensive movement into the depths of Russia 
through Byelostok, to Brest from the direction of Warsaw, 
occupying the enemy with fictitious operations in order 
to cut off" the main Russian forces from the other parts 
of the empire. 

In other words, this means to pass the .fortifications of 
the defensive line of the Vistula - Bug - Narev district. 
Such an undertaking might, of course, be very advan- 
tageous for the attacking Austro-German armies, but its 
execution would be attended with extraordinary dangers. 
If Germany and Austria could be assured that the Russian 
armies in this theatre of war were not in a fit state in their 
turn to make an attack upon vital points in the interior 
of Germany and Austria, or to cut the lines of communi- 
cation of the invading armies, then such an attempt might 
have equal chances of success, and the Russian armies 
would be compelled to attack the invaders or to retire into 
the interior of the country. But the threat alone that the 
Russian armies might invade Silesia and the rich terri- 
tories lying near the frontier would cause great alarm, 
acting all the more powerfully on public opinion in Ger- 
many since it would be in direct opposition to the declara- 
tions of the government and of the Emperor. 

The opinion expressed by German writers that their 
armies would occupy the undefended territory on the left 
bank of the Vistula, which is at considerable distance from 


Map of Russian Defensive System. 

From Schroeter's " Die 

Festungen in der heutigen 



the fortresses, is therefore much more probable. In such 
event the losses which are demanded by attack would fall 
upon Russia. Further, in the case of the breaking of this 
line the Russian armies on the German frontier would be 
met by another defensive line. 

Between the German and Austrian armies a junction 
might be effected by means of the railway leading from 
the Vistula on the Austrian frontier through Ostrobetz to 
the Vistula on Prussian territory. On this railway are 
situated many important towns — among them Lodz with 
more than 300,000 inhabitants — which might furnish large 

In view of convenience for the disposition of their armies, 
the Germans might usefully employ for the occupation of 
this line part of their older reserves, consisting of men 
who would be entirely unfit for field warfare and bivouac 
life. Nevertheless, in view of the risk of such an under- 
taking, it is necessary to suppose that the Austro-Ger- 
man armies would attempt primarily to direct their re- 
sources on the Vistula-Bug-Narev district, taking only 
defensive action against France. 

After investigating the resources which Germany and 
Austria would have at their disposal for attack on Russia, 
the result appears that these powers, after allotting the 
forces needed for garrisons and for guarantee against 
France, would dispose of 2,100,000 men. Russia would 
have available not less than 2,380,000 men. 

But of course neither Austria, nor German}-, nor Russia 
will be in a position to employ such forces at once. From 
the statistics of foreign authorities it appears that Germany 
and Austria for immediate attack would have available 
900,000 men, Russia at first having available no more 
than 500,000 men. 

But these figures seem to us untrustworthy. Before 
the Austro-German armies could penetrate to the Peters- 
burg-Warsaw, the Moscow- Brest, and other railways by 
which Russian troops might be brought to the front, 
almost all will have been done to bring the Russian army 
of the first line up to its full strength. 


The German army cannot attack before the Austrians, 
and therefore as a basis we must take the greatest distance 
and the longest period needed for mobihsation. In 
Austria mobihsation and concentration will take place 
much more slowly than in Germany, and the distances to 
be traversed will be longer by at least ten days' march. 
Meantime the Warsaw district includes reserves of 200,000 
men, the Vilna district 270,000, and the Kief district 
427,000 men. Thus it will be impossible to prevent the 
strengthening of the Russian armies situated on the Vistula- 
Niemen theatre of war to a million of men. 

Plans of attack by the allies on the territory watered by 
the rivers Niemen, Vistula, and Narev have been analysed 
by the French writer General Pierron, who mentions that 
in June 1888 he, together with French officers of the 
General Staff, by order of his government made a tour 
through the theatre of war above mentioned. From the 
data collected by General Pierron the probable routes of 
attack by the Austro-German armies from their points of 
concentration would appear to be those indicated by the 
plan opposite. The probable paths of attack by Germany 
and Austria have also been considered by the Belgian 
engineer. General Brialmont. By combining the data of 
Generals Pierron and Brialmont the disposition of the 
allied armies in their concentric movement on Warsaw 
and Novogeorgievsk may be presented in the plan on page 
78, in which we take as points of departure, not those 
positions which serve as bases, but those railway stations 
near which, in all probability, the concentration of the 
armies will take place. For convenience the routes of 
the attacking armies are indicated by straight lines, each 
straight Hne also representing an army corps of 50,000 

There is no doubt that in the Russian territories the 
attacking Germans and their allies will meet with strong 
defensive lines, which, if they are inferior in anything to 
the iron ring of defences constructed in France, neverthe- 
less may be defended even against an enemy twice as 
strong. These Russian lines of defence include ten 



Paths of Advance of the Austro-Gcrman Armies from Points of 
Concentration to the Vistula-Bug-Narev Theatre of War. 

German Army . . 

Austrian Army 
Russian Defensive 
Armies • • • 
Russian Operat- 
ing Armies . . 



Paths of Advance of the German and Austrian Armies on the Vistula- 
Bug-Narev Theatre of War, from Pierron and Briahnont. 

German and Aus- 
trian Armies . . 


fortresses with fortified camps, situated on rivers, and 
making the passage of rivers and marshes extremely 

With such conditions the Russian armies supported by 
internal lines of defence will, with energetic leadership 
and the known endurance of the Russian soldier, have 
full possibility of moving to every threatened point pre- 
ponderating forces, before the junction in superior force of 
the Austrian and German armies can take place. 

The greatest numerical superiority which can be 
admitted as possible on the Austrian and German side 
would be at Kovno, 400,000 men, and at Brest, also 
400,000 men, against 100,000 defending the first fortress, 
and 250,000 the second. But Kovno and Brest are both 
first-class fortresses, and the troops defending them will 
be in strong positions, of the speedy capture of which the 
enemy cannot even dream. To their aid will hasten the 
fresh forces which will be mobilised within Russia, and 
the besiegers may easily find themselves in a dangerous 

If Plevna with its improvised fortifications was held for 
months against an enemy four times stronger, by a garri- 
son deprived of hope of relief, how much longer may such 
regularly fortified camps as Kovno and Brest hold out 
when help must come within the fortnight which will be 
required for the mobilisation of 415,000 men, or, at the 
worst, of a considcr-hle proportion of that number ? 
When these 415,000 men shall have marched to the relief 
of Brest and Kovno, the forces of Russia will not only 
equal those of the allies, but will even find themselves to a 
certain extent superior. 

In addition to this must be borne in mind the difficulty 
of provisioning an invading army, a million strong, far 
from its base, while the Russian armies defending their own 
territory would fight under much better conditions. Even 
from the point of view most favourable to the Germans — 
even if they succeeded in taking Ivangorod, Warsaw, and 
Novogeorgievsk, with all auxiliary fortifications — they 
would find a tremendous obstacle in Brest-Litovsk alone. 


Situated in the midst of a marsh it would be almost 
impossible to invest it closely, and in no case could it be 
invested speedily. It is obvious that before Brest could 
be taken the Russian army garrisoned there would be re- 
inforced by more than 250,000 men. Even supposing, 
what is still more improbable, that the allies in opera- 
tions against fortresses and first lines of defence were 
always victorious, yet such victories would cost them so 
dear that the stoppage of further operations would seem 

Estimates as to the probable loss of attacking and 
defending troops in battle and from disease show that 
by the time the allies were in a position to undertake 
operations against the second defensive line — that is, 
Brest-Litovsk and Kovno — the Russian forces would 
amount to 440,000 in fortresses, and 375,000 auxiliary 
forces acting in combination with these garrisons, a total 
of 815,000 men, to which must be added an army of 
1,264,000, newly formed, approaching the scene of opera- 
tions. The allied powers would dispose of 1,588,000 
men. In such event the numerical superiority of the 
allies over the operating Russian armies would amount to 
only 773,000 men. 

In the face of the Russian armies operating on internal 
lines and able to change front at discretion, and in face of 
the reinforcements daily increasing until on the arrival on 
the scene of action of the whole 1,264,000 of their reserved 
armies, the Russians would have a numerical superiority 
of 491,000 men, an advance into the interior of Russia 
would be an undertaking attended with too great risk. It is, 
therefore, more probable that the enemy would first invest 
the fortresses, and only afterwards attempt to defeat the 
armies of reserves. 

In assuming this, we again allow the most favourable 
supposition for the allies, for this reason, that the losses 
in battle and in the investment of the fortresses of the 
second line of defence will be as follows : The 375,000 
men of the Russian operating army, acting in combination 
with the garrisons of the fortresses, will lose a third of 


their strength, or 125,000 men ; the losses of the attack- 
ing armies will be twice as great, that is, 250,000 men. 
Further, we assume that only 10 percent., or, 25,000 men 
of the Russian army would be able to take refuge in the 
fortress of Brest- Litovsk, the other 90 per cent., that 
is, 225,000, being taken prisoners. But even under such 
circumstances the German-Austrian armies would not 
have freedom for activity. 

From the estimate of General Brialmont we find that for 
the investment of armies shut up in fortresses, an army of 
double the strength of the besieged is necessary — that is 
to say, the position of the Russian and Austro-German 
armies after the defeat of the operating Russian army, 
and the investment of the fortresses, would be as follows : 

Russian Armies. 

Approaching Reserves . 

In fortresses 



Besieging armies .... 
Free for attack .... 


These figures show that before the fall of the fortresses 
there could be no thought of any extensive advance of the 
allied armies into the interior of Russia. Let us admit, 
however, the extreme hypothesis that immediate attacks 
on the fortresses will prove completely successful, and 
that the Russian armies besieged will be compelled to 
surrender. Such a success apparently would in no way 
resemble the surrenders of the French in 1870-71. The 
capture of the Russian fortresses by assault could only be 
accomplished after terrible conflicts attended with tre- 
mendous losses in the ranks of the attacking armies. 

We will suppose — a supposition again the most favour- 
able to the invaders — that the losses of the allies under 
these circumstances were only half as great as the losses 
of the Russian armies in battle, that is 232,000 men, with a 
loss of no more than 10 per cent, from disease. In such 



event there would remain only 1,013,000 men in the ranks 
of the allies against 1,264,000 in the armies of the 
Russian reserve. 

Having gone so far, there are two questions which may 
well be asked. Having maintained her main forces for 
such a prolonged time on the Russian theatre of war, 
would Germany be in a position to defend herself against 
attack from France, and wodld the 70,000 men left by the 
allies for the guarding of Ivangorod, and the 200,000 
Austrians left in Galicia be able to withstand the attack of 
the Russian reserves ? 

From the foregoing figures and arguments we must 
conclude that the plans of attack by Austria and Germany 
in Russia proposed by foreign military authorities, taking 
into consideration the immense strength of the fortresses 
of the Vistula-Bug-Narev theatre of war, and afterwards 
of the second Russian line of defence, would be impossible 
to carry into effect. 

It is true that another opinion has been expressed as to 
the possibility of outflanking the Vistula-Bug-Narev posi- 
tions and even also that of Brest. But such an undertaking 
would be attended with such extraordinary and obvious 
dangers that it is unnecessary to consider it here. 

Generally, the consequences which would ensue if the 
German-Austrian armies were to adopt the daring plan of 
direct movement on Brest-Litovsk in order to cut off the 
Russian forces in Poland, belong to the category of vexed 
questions. Plans, of course, are kept scrupulously secret, 
but some indications nevertheless may be drawn from the 
opinions current in military circles. First of all it is note- 
worthy that German officers no longer speak of the project 
of immediately occupying Warsaw and the whole of Poland, 
and of fortifying themselves there. But ten years ago, 
when war with Russia seemed near, this view was so 
widespread in Prussian military circles that certain officers 
invited Polish ladies to a dance in Warsaw at the next 
carnival. The well-known military writer, Scheibert,* 
expressing the opinion that the Germans must limit them- 
* Op. cit, ante. 


selves to the occupation of Poland, and fortifying themselves 
there, added that in the West Germany should afterwards 
confine herself to defensive operations, while her " Eastern 
neighbour, incited by the independent, premature initiative 
peculiar to its leaders, would try to gain successes by means 
of reckless enterprises." 

Nowadays, of talk of the occupation of Warsaw there 
remains not a trace. But it is known that in Konigsberg 
are collected immense stores of sections of bridges and 
materials for the construction and repair of railways. 
Apparently, the Germans have realised the delusiveness 
of an undertaking having as its aim to cut off the Russian 
armies in Poland, and place them between two fires. Such 
thoughts correspond to the spirit of self-confidence fostered 
in German military circles since the great successes of 
1870-71, successes which awakened profound faith in the 
excellence of the German army, and a disposition to depre- 
ciate the value of other armies. 

Thus the opinion of Scheibert that the Russian com- 
manders will attempt to attain successes by means of 
daring, ill-considered enterprises, is repeated in Germany 
to the present day. And, indeed, if the German head- 
quarters staff is convinced that it is capable always, at the 
right moment, to concentrate its forces, and that the Rus- 
sian armies will not find themselves in such favourable 
conditions, it may easily set itself the task of defeating the 
Russian armies one after another, calculating by such 
operations to hasten the course of the war, and diminish 
the economic difficulties from which Germany would suffer. 
But such an undertaking would be so risky that its 
initiation would be desired by the most competent autho- 
rities in Russia. In war nothing can be calculated upon 
absolutely, and the strategical development of operations 
may result in no way so favourably as is relied upon in 
Berlin and Vienna. In such event the allies would be 
subjected to defeat. 

Without analysing closely the opinions we have quoted, 
we must ask the question whether with such plans of 
operations the final objects of war could be accomplished. 


All authorities on the war of the future are agreed that in 
order to force Russia to conclude peace on terras unfavour- 
able to herself, the occupation of Petersburg and Moscow 
would be required. It is plain that in face of the immense, 
almost insuperable obstacles which separate both these 
capitals from the Austro-German base, the allies would not 
have the resources to advance at once upon Petersburg 
and Moscow as long as the chief fortified points remained 
uncaptured and the Russian armies unbeaten, since until 
these objects were accomplished, too great forces would be 
needed for the protection of communications. 

Thus the allies would be compelled to choose between 
plans of attack either on Petersburg or on Moscow. To 
wait for an opportunity, in view of the intact Russian 
armies, would be impossible for the allies, because the Rus- 
sian armies in the Vistula-Bug-Narev district would pre- 
serve open communications with the southern governments, 
and the Russian army might undertake a movement against 
Austria which would destroy the plans of the enemy. 
The opinions expressed on this subject in military litera- 
ture lead to the conclusion that if the German government 
decided on a march into the interior of Russia the aim of 
the allies would, in all probability, be Moscow and not 
Petersburg, while the consequences of any such attempt 
would recall the fate of Napoleon's army, that is to say, 
it would result in absolute starvation. 

For the Germans to limit themselves to the conquest of 
Poland, as certain authorities advise, and confine them- 
selves to defensive operations is impossible, as such action 
would give no speedy and final result, and a prolonged 
war could not be sustained by Germany's allies. In addi- 
tion, such a decision would expose Germany to great risk. 
The armies on the Vistula-Bug-Narev theatre of war would 
be directed against Prussia. It is true that the German 
frontier is very strongly fortified, and presents topo- 
graphical conditions very favourable for defence. But the 
very attempt of the Russian armies to enter upon German 
territory would undoubtedly cause intense alarm among 
the German population. 


The strength in that district of the Russian army which 
would be in a position to undertake operations against 
Germany we have already estimated at 650,000 men. 
The operations of this army would be directed against 
Eastern Prussia, in order to cut the communications 
between Berlin and the bases of attack of the German army 
in Russia — that is, Konigsberg. The invasion of Prussian 
territory would be facilitated by the nearness of the lines 
of the Narev and Bug to the Prussian frontier. But it is 
evident that the Russian armies situated in that district 
would not be strong enough to strike a decisive blow at 
Prussia by operations against Berlin itself. 

The occupation by the Germans of the left undefended 
bank of the Vistula in Poland would require separate armies 
at least as strong as the acting Russian forces. There- 
fore, at the disposal of the German headquarters staff would 
be 1,175,000 men ready for further advance into the in- 
terior of Russia. 

If the fortresses of the Bug did not require investment, 
then Kovno, Ossovetz, Olita, and Grodno must un- 
doubtedly be invested, for which purpose at least 375»ooo 
men would be required. Thus for advance into the 
interior of Russia the Germans would only dispose of 
800,000 men, a number obviously insufficient for such an 
undertaking. From this it follows that the Germans will 
be compelled to await the approach of the Austrians, and 
to continue their operations in combination with them. 

We must bear in mind that the defences of Austria in 
Galicia are very weak. It is probable that this considera- 
tion will not exercise a commanding influence in the 
choice of plans of operations, for the decisive word will 
undoubtedly belong to Germany. But for that reason it 
will be difficult to compel Austria to advance her forces 
rapidly, she finding herself threatened by an invasion 
from Russia of her Slavonic provinces. Thus the German 
staff in all probability will not decide upon invasion of the 
interior of Russia, but will first of all occupy itself with 
operations against Olita, Ossovetz, Grodna, and Kovno. 
Detailed calculations show that after deducting the forces 


necessary to restrain Russia from active operations 
against Austria, the latter power would only have 600,000 
men free for offensive action against Russia; thus the 
attacking forces of the allies may be estimated at 1,400,000 

Russia would dispose of armies 2,380,000 strong, which 
would be distributed as follows : 

In the Vistula- Bug- Narev positions . 650,000 
„ Kovno, Grodno, Ossobitz, Olita . . 250,000 
„ Dubno, Kovno, Dutzke . . . 200,000 

Total . . 1,100,000 

Thus for active operations Russia would possess 
1,280,000 men. Of course when the Austro-German 
armies began operations this force of 1,280,000 might 
not be concentrated. But as we already explained, long 
before the enemy could reach Moscow not only this army, 
but millions more, although with little training, would be 
ready to oppose the invaders, whose armies, every fifty 
miles they marched into the interior, would thaw as snow 
in spring. 

In this connection the history of 18 12 may perhaps be 
instructive. In the beginning of action the operating 
armies consisted of 

400,000 French ... 180,000 Russians 

At Smolensk . . 183,000 „ ... 120,000 ,, 

„ Moscow . . 134,000 „ ... 130,000 ,, 

As the final result of investigation we must conclude 
that an advance on Moscow would require at least a two 
years' campaign, while the more prolonged the war, the 
better it would prove for Russia. Her immense resources 
gradually organised would every day be better prepared, 
and the numerical preponderance would finally pass to 
Russia, while the allies, weakened by immense losses in 
battle, and from illness caused by insufficient food, would 
be forced to close the war without attaining their objects, 


in consequence of the absence in the markets of Trans- 
oceanic and Russian grain, and probably also as a result 
of internal difficulties caused by the stoppage of work, and 
by famine. 

Some military writers advise that operations against 
Russia should begin in winter, as the frozen ground would 
increase the difficulty of constructing earthworks, while 
the invaders would find greater facilities for transport, 
both in the sledge paths which replace in winter the bad 
marshy roads, and in the freezing of the rivers. This last 
circumstance, in their opinion, almost totally deprives 
rivers of their immense defensive value. 

But the danger of advance into Russia by winter would 
be still greater for the German army (consisting, as it will, 
of four-fifths of reserves) than it was for the army of Napo- 
leon, which was, for the most part, composed of veterans. 

Such a decision on the part of the German Government 
is all the less probable because the roads in the frontier 
districts of Russia are often spoiled by thaws, as was 
experienced in the wars of 1806-7, '^^^ i" the Polish 
campaign of 1831. 

Thus after considering all possible combinations it is 
more than probable that an invasion of Russia would not 
lead to such results as would accomplish the ends of war. 
And modern conditions are such that even Russia, in the 
event of victory, could not attain the best results. 

The carrying on by Russia of an offensive war against 
Germany and Austria after driving the armies of those 
powers out of her territories, or in the event of those states 
from the beginning restricting themselves to defence, or 
limiting their offensive operations to the occupation of 
certain Russian territories, would be accompanied by 
great, it may be insuperable difficulties. 

Following on the heels of the armies which she had 
defeated, the Russian armies would be compelled to 
traverse vast territories entirely exhausted, and to draw 
all their provisions from an immense distance. The 
victories already gained would, of course, have cost 
them dear, and reserves of necessity would predominate 


both in the ranks and among the officers. With armies 
thus constituted success in an offensive war would be 
much less probable than with armies only completed from 
the reserve. 

In addition to this, in advancing on German territory 
the Russian armies would meet with still numerous forces 
formed, it is true, mainly from the remnants of the attack- 
ing armies and from the Landsturm with its reserves, 
worthless for attack, but fuHy reliable for defence. As 
relates to commissariat, transport from the interior of 
Russia to Prussian territory — not to speak of possible 
failure of the administration — would require much time 
and immense outlay. In the war of 1870 the Germans 
lived at the expense of the enemy. But such favourable 
circumstances will not be repeated. Rapid advances and 
the possibility of making requisitions demanding contribu- 
tions in the face of the present fortified frontiers, smoke- 
less powder, and improved armaments, are inconceivable. 

For the invasion, by Russia, of Prussian territory 
military literature offers several projects. The plan oppo- 
site illustrates the scheme of operations which military 
writers consider most probable. 

But whatever the direction selected for attack on Prussia, 
it must be borne in mind that the invaders will be met by 
a scientific and long-prepared system of defence. Great 
rivers and fortresses constitute for the Germans a strong 
defence, while behind them a network of railways, satisfy- 
ing all the requirements of modern strategy, guarantees 
the communications of the defending armies with the 
interior of the country. There will be no difficulty in com- 
pleting the ranks of the Prussian army, for in addition to 
the remnants of the invading army the Landsturm with 
its reserves will be ready. 

Thus, to conquer Prussia on her own territory will be 
no easy task, and the danger she will be subjected to by 
the occupation by an enemy's forces will be far less serious 
than the danger which will threaten her from famine. As 
relates to internal revolutionary movements it can hardly 
be supposed that the irruption of an enemy on Prussian 



Plan of invasion, by Russia, of Prussian territory. 


territory would strengthen such a movement. Invasion 
from Russia would in all probability have entirely different 

It is necessary to consider one more combination—' 
namely, that Russia, in view of the weakness of the 
Austrian defence in Galicia, as compared with the defences 
which exist in the Eastern provinces of Prussia, would 
restrict herself to defence against Germany, employing her 
remaining forces for the invabion of Eastern Galicia. But 
such a combination is improbable. The chief political 
question lies in the crushing of Germany. Having wasted 
her strength in a struggle with Austria, Russia would 
be still less able to force Germany to lay down her 

According to General Brialmont two Russian armies 
might at the same time operate against Austria, one having 
as its goal Vienna, and the other Buda-Pesth. The con- 
sideration of plans of operation in these directions leads 
to the conclusion that the Russian army would have to 
overcome immense obstacles, and to march through a 
country already more or less exhausted. 

But even in the event of Russian victory the results 
obtained would hardly compensate for the war. 

For in assuming that Russia were to carry the war into 
the territory of one of the allies, we must consider the 
possibility that Germany would return Alsace-Lorraine to 
France, and that the Government of France might not be 
in a state to oppose the popular movement in favour of the 
conclusion of peace. If this were to happen the whole 
plan of attack, based upon the diversion by France of half 
the forces of the Triple Alliance, would have to be aban- 

Thus in all possible combinations a European war in 
which Russia took part would result in complete exhaus- 
tion of both combatants. Nevertheless, estimates of the 
strength and distribution of armies, the resources for 
keeping them up to strength, and economic endurance, 
prove that Russia will be in a condition to sustain a war 
indefinitely. Even the occupation of one of the Russian 


capitals, perhaps of both, would not force her to uncondi- 
tional surrender. On the other hand, the advance of the 
Russian armies into Prussia or Austria would not result 
in any certain success. 

Generally, it is difficult to foresee what actual strategical 
results would issue from this immense struggle, or how it 
would end. Russia, even with the failure of her arms in 
some directions, relying upon the immensity of her terri- 
tories and the approach of an inclement winter, would not 
be inclined to the conclusion of peace. As for western 
countries, with the complexity of their economic and social 
polity, with the mutual interdependence of all the wheels 
of the internal mechanism, it is difficult to form any idea 
how a great and prolonged war would react on the 
economic and social order. It is unquestionable that the 
fear of those internal agitations which would be awakened 
by a crisis will have great influence in dissuading govern- 
ments against undertaking a war. 

On the other hand, once war has broken out the con- 
clusion of peace will present great difficulties to any 
government, either after failure or success. At first it 
will seem that the results obtained in no way compensate 
for the sacrifices made, and grave difficulties may present 
themselves even in the disarmament of masses of men. 
In the second case — that is, of failure — the stoppage of 
military operations without attaining the results expected 
might easily give rise to revolutionary movements. Even 
in Russia, with all its political fortresses, the war of 
1877-78 resulted in a temporary strengthening of the 
revolutionary propaganda, although that propaganda 
was carried on by an insignificant proportion of the 

General plans of operation against possible enemies 
are elaborated by the General Staffs of all armies. In 
these plans are unquestionably indicated the resources 
and time that will be required for the attainment of certain 
objects. But we may doubt whether in any of such plans 
the economic conditions have been considered. On more 
than one occasion we have spoken to M. Burdeau, the 


French Minister of Marine, a man of the highest capacity, 
who frankly admitted that when M, Freycinet was Minister 
of War it was proposed to undertake an inquiry into the 
economic conditions which would accompany war, but this 
project had to be abandoned in consequence of the oppo- 
sition met with in military circles. 



Since the time of the Franco-German war certain principles 
have been advocated in relation to maritime warfare which, 
if practised, involve a return to the conditions of barbarism. 
The advance which has taken place in that period in naval 
affairs is interesting not only in itself, but also because of 
the influence which it must exert on the character of war 
on land. The possibility of the destruction of maritime 
towns, the interruption of oversea supplies, and the severing 
of certain states from communication with the rest of the 
world may awaken dangerous movements and cause the 
stoppage of a war on land earlier than the results expected 
have been attained. But a naval war between two European 
powers with equal fleets is improbable, since it would result 
in mutual destruction. 

With the wars of the past, again, no comparison could 
be drawn. In view of the immense influence which a 
naval war may exert on the economic and social conditions 
of peoples, it might be expected that all questions connected 
with the building of warships and their operations had 
already been submitted to careful study and consideration. 
But it cannot be said that this has been done. In France, 
still dreaming of vengeance, every investigation which 
would emphasise the ruinous consequences of maritime 
war in its new conditions is unpopular, since such investi- 
gation would unquestionably lead to the conclusion that it 
will be almost impossible to carry on a war on dry land so 
as to realise the first hopes. In Germany, maritime war is 
treated of only by specialists, who restrain themselves in 


the expression of views as to the ruinous results which 
war might involve. Exceptions to this rule are few. 
Among their number may be found the economist Rudolf 
Meyer and Admiral Werner. In Italy, the Government is 
generally condemned for the intolerable burdens to which 
the people are subjected for the maintenance of armed 
forces generally, and in particular for the maintenance of 
the fleet; and it is the interest of the Government to 
prevent the circulation of pessimistic views. Russia and 
Austria concern themselves little with maritime warfare, 
since for them these questions are of secondary importance. 
England is an exception, and much interest is taken there ; 
and this is natural, both on account of her geographical 
position and because her population depends directly upon 
oversea supplies. 

But even in England no clear idea of the recent revolu- 
tion in methods, and of the consequences of a naval war, 
has yet penetrated to the masses, and the assurance of 
specialists is accepted that between the naval warfare of the 
present and the past no fundamental difference which 
would exclude comparison exists. 

In order to establish a contrary proposition, a searching 
study of the methods which have been prepared for naval 
warfare would be necessary. Without this it is impossible 
to estimate the significance of the change. But a popular 
description of systems of attack and defence at sea presents 
even greater difficulties than the description of war on 

To give an idea to laymen of the mechanism prepared 
for maritime war to-day, and to facilitate comparison with 
the mechanism employed in the past, it is necessary to 
compare the growth and perfection of fleets, and the 
methods adopted for their utilisation by different states. 
In such a comparison we find a peculiar circumstance 
which greatly increases the complexity of the subject. In 
the comparison of armies we deal with a quantity of 
similar units — soldiers, artillery, and horses. But for the 
comparison of the fleets of the different powers at different 
times, we have to deal with varying units, since not only 


the armaments of ships have changed, but the very type. 
Many suppose that a single modern ironclad, a single 
swift cruiser with long-range weapons, supplied with 
explosive shells, will be able to accomplish work for which 
a squadron would formerly have been needed. 

With the adoption of steamers for naval warfare, sailing 
ships gradually disappeared from the composition of navies. 
Yet as late as the beginning of the Crimean war the Black 
Sea fleet counted only 7 steam-frigates, of i960 steam- 
power, armed with 49 guns, the remainder of the fleet 
being composed of sailing ships. The allied fleets con- 
tained the following number of steamers : England 24, of 
5859 steam-power; the French 12, of 4960 steam-power. 
The number of guns on the Russian fleet was about 2000, 
and on the allies 2449. The impossibility of sailing ships 
accepting battle with freely manoeuvring steamers was 
then fully demonstrated, for the greater part of the Black 
Sea fleet was destroyed. It is not to be wondered at that 
the Baltic fleet, composed of weakly constructed vessels, 
made even a less successful show against the allies. 

After the close of the Crimean war the Ministry of 
Marine actively undertook the construction of a steam 
fleet for the Baltic, as in accordance with the Treaty of 
Paris the destroyed Black Sea fleet was not to be rebuilt. 
This work was carried on in the spirit which generally 
characterises an epoch of reform. But, owing to want of 
experience, the new vessels did not answer requirements, 
especially in respect to long distance steaming. The pro- 
gramme of construction had not been fully executed when 
armour began to play such an important part in the 
building of warships that the wooden ships then building 
lost their value as fighting units. 

At the end of 1870, when Paris was besieged by the 
Germans, the Russian Government, in view of the political 
changes taking place in Europe, declared that it no longer 
regarded as binding the articles in the Treaty of Paris 
relating to the keeping of warships in the Black Sea. 
But the new Black Sea fleet had hardly been built before 
the war of 1877 broke out, and the fleet had no influence 


on course of operations, although the Russian sailors 
distinguished themselves by exploits, and destroyed several 
Turkish vessels. 

The first appearance of armoured ships dates back to 
the time of the Crimean wslv. The bombardment of 
Sevastopol by the combined Anglo-French fleets showed 
the allies that their wooden vessels might easily be set on 
fire and destroyed, n a battle with fortresses. The conse- 
quence of this discovery was an attempt to protect vessels 
with iron plates, and in 1854 France began the construc- 
tion of three armoured floating batteries destined for 
attack upon the Russian coast fortifications in the Black 
Sea. The English, with the intention of attacking Cron- 
stadt in 1856, constructed seven floating batteries. The 
Russian shells directed against these batteries only occa- 
sioned damage when they accidentally fell into the em- 
brasures. From this the conclusion was drawn that if 
vessels were built well protected with armour, and able to 
manoeuvre freely in the open sea, they would be inde- 

In 1858, by order of the Emperor Napoleon III., the 
building of the first armoured frigate Gloi're was begun 
on the plan of the celebrated engineer Dupuy de Lome. 
This frigate, in the words of its builder, was to be " a lion 
in a flock of sheep." The cost of construction reached 
;^28o,ooo — that is, almost three times the cost of the 
greatest line-of-battle ships, but in view of the immense 
results that were expected, this outlay was not considered 

The initiative of France was quickly imitated both by 
England and America. The deciding circumstance, how- 
ever, which led to the final supersession of wooden ships 
was the American Civil War, when the exploit of the 
Merrimac, and the subsequent battle between the Monitor 
and Merrimac showed the ineffectiveness of wooden ships, 
and the immense power of resistance of armour. 

This change acted most disadvantageously for Russia; 
the new steam fleet had only just been completed, and the 
need for re-building came when, as a consequence of the 


Crimean war, the finances of the country were in a 
desperate state. But to delay was impossible, and fresh 
events emphasised the necessity for proceeding with the 
new construction without delay. 

As is well known, Russia in the sixties was threatened 
with a rupture with the Western powers over the Polish 
question. In 1863 a committee was formed under the 
presidency of General-Adjutant Kruizhanovski to consider 
the measures necessary for placing Cronstadt in a position 
of defence. The general opinion of that committee was, 
that with the resources possessed by the enemies of Russia 
in 1863, Cronstadt could not be defended, and considering 
the skill and persistence of the enemy even the capital 
could not be considered safe. The committee found that 
by means of coast fortifications alone, without mobile 
defences consisting of forty floating batteries, monitors, 
and gunboats, the defence of Cronstadt would be im- 

While vessels of war were constructed of wood, the 
materials and the capacity to work them were found in 
Russia. The case was otherwise when iron vessels had 
to be built and equipped with costly machinery and 
weapons. Nevertheless, considering the financial diffi- 
culties, energetic measures were taken to construct an 
armoured fleet. 

Meantime the other maritime powers, recognising that 
they were almost defenceless without increase of their 
fleets of armoured vessels, began with feverish activity 
to attempt to attain what is apparently unattainable — that 
is, to build armoured vessels which would resist the 
action of the strongest artillery. 

Not one of the details of naval affairs, not even the con- 
struction of ships, presents such amazing results in the 
way of novelty and improvement as have been attained 
since i860 in naval ordnance. The best idea of this may 
be given by a contrast of the armaments of the Russian 
fleet of to-day with its predecessors. We will take the 
old 84 Prokhor and the modern Piotr Veliki which carries 
only four 12-inch rifled guns. With one discharge of its 



guns the Piotr Veliki develops three times the power of a 
similar discharge from the guns of the Prokhor. The 
whole 84 guns of the Prokhor if they could be directed at 
once in one direction would not cause the slightest damage 
to the armour of the weakest of modern armoured vessels, 
while every shot fired from a distance of 7000 feet from 
the modern 12-inch rifles against the strongest of modern 
ironclads, will penetrate the side 3 feet thick and protected 
by a 13-inch plate. In addition to this, all four weapons 
of the Piotr Veliki might be directed against a compara- 
tively small space of the ship's side. But even these guns 
will be powerless against some of the ironclads now under 
construction, which are protected by 20-inch and even 
24-inch steel armour, and, in consequence, by the side of 
these armour-clads will be invented even more powerful 
guns. The more perfect the guns the stronger the armour 
which has been produced for protection against them. This 
struggle continues even at the present day. 

For employment against armour, steel projectiles were 
made, and the force of the impact increased ; thus in turn 
calling for stronger armour, against which still more 
powerful projectiles are employed. A rivalry in invention 
began. Sometimes armour was uppermost, sometimes 
projectiles. But no one listened to the voice of the eco- 
nomists who foretold the consequence of this rivalry. To 
illustrate this we may cite some figures as to the cost of 
modern vessels of war. The cost of a first-class line-of- 
battle ship, impelled by sails, did not exceed ;^i 15,000. 
The building of the first English ironclad Warrior in 
t86o entailed an outlay of ;^3 50,000. But this was but 
the beginning in the growth in the cost of warships. The 
German ironclad Kocnig Wilhclm^ built in 1868, cost 
;^500,000, the Italian DuiliOy in 1876, ^700,000, the Italia^ 
1886, ;^ 1, 000,000. Thus in twenty years the cost of iron- 
clads increased three times. A great part of this outlay 
is swallowed up by armour. Of ;^840,ooo spent on one 
of the latest ironclads. Magenta^ £6oo^QQO, that is, 71 per 
cent., was spent upon armour. 

Let us examine the instruments of destruction of these 


maritime giants. A battleship of the old type of the first 
rank was armed with 120 guns, weighing 480 tons. The 
first ironclad carried only 32 guns, but these weighed 
690 tons. On the ironclad Italia, built in 1886, were 
carried only 4 large and 8 small guns, yet they weighed 
nearly double as much as the 32 guns of the first ironclad, 
namely, 1 1 50 tons. Thus since the days of sailing ships 
the weight of guns has increased more than 150 times. 
The size and weight of ammunition has, of course, corre- 
spondingly increased, and also the destructive force of 
explosive shells. The diameter of the shells of the 
ironclad Warrior was approximately 6^ inches, its weight 
70 pounds ; on the armour-clad Italia the diameter is in- 
creased to 17 inches, and the weight to 2000 pounds. 
In the course of twenty years the power of a shell, taking 
only its weight into account, has increased 30 times. 

It must not be supposed that this is the limit. England 
continues to stand at the head of the states who seek for 
improvements in weapons of destruction at sea. Some 
years ago English ships were armed with guns of a calibre 
of 12 inches, and armour nearly 12 inches thick. At 
a later time they carried guns with a calibre of 16 inches, 
weighing 80 tons, and throwing a shell weighing 1760 
pounds. But in view of the fact that Italy had armed 
her ironclads Duilio and Dandolo with guns weighing 
100 tons, the English consider a project of building 
200-ton guns which will throw a shell of nearly three tons 
weight, and pierce armour 35^ inches thick. 

What is the outlay on the use of such weapons ? 
Le Progres Militairc^ on the basis of statistics taken from 
the French naval budget, makes the following estimate. 
The firing of a shell from a no-ton gun costs ;^i66, 
which corresponds to a capital of ;^4i6o. This sum is 
thus apportioned : £^6 for 990 pounds of powder, ;^I30 
for the projectile, total, ;^i66. But this is not all. A 
no-gun will stand only 93 shots, after which it becomes 
useless for further employment. As the cost of such a 
weapon amounts to ;^ 16,480 it appears that with every shot 
fired the value of the arm diminishes by ;^ 174, from which 


we find that every shot fired will cost ;^340. Thus with 
every shot is thrown away the yearly interest on a capital 
of ;^8500. A thousand of such shots would represent a 
capital of ;£8, 500,000. 

Passing to arms of smaller calibre it is shown that a shot 
fired from a 77-ton gun (the cost of which is ;^ 10,000, 
and which will stand 127 shots) costs £184, a shot from a 
45-ton gun (which costs ;^6300, and is useless after 150 
shots have been fired) amounts to ;^98. Only the lives 
of the sailors on fleets are considered as valueless. 

General Pestitch draws a very interesting contrast. 
He says : " Six Russian ships taking part in the battle 
of Sinope were armed with about 600 guns, out of which 
the 300 guns employed destroyed all that was in Sinope, 
yet the cost of these 300 guns, in the values of that time, 
did not exceed the cost of a single modern 100-ton 
gun. What results are to be expected from one weapon 
which in an hour may be fired no more than five times ? " 
An answer to this question it seems can be given only by 
a future war. The guns on modern battleships will be 
able to bombard ports, fortresses and towns, as many 
specialists declare, from a distance of nearly seven miles. 

But this increase of power has not been restricted to 
battleships alone. Many specialists consider it more 
advisable to build light and swift cruisers with powerful 
armaments, and torpedo boats which move almost unnoticed 
through the water with the speed of a mail train. As 
soon as the construction of ships was perfected to such an 
extent that England was able to place on the sea a con- 
siderable number of ironclads, armed with powerful guns, 
and protected by thick steel armour, the question naturally 
arose : Would it not be possible to direct mines underneath 
these immense ships, and destroy them by means of 
powerful explosions in the vicinity of weakly defended 
parts ? For a long time the application of this idea was 
unsuccessful, many obstacles had to be overcome, and 
only in recent times has the question been successfully 
resolved. Then began the construction of vessels specially 
designed for the purpose of discharging torpedoes. Ex- 


perience showed that vessels discharging the torpedo ran 
no risk in employing a mine of 55 to 66 pounds of powder, 
13 to 15 pounds of dynamite, or 22 to 27 pounds of per- 
oxylene, if it be not less than 19I feet distant from the 
place of explosion, the mine being at a depth of 7 feet. Since 
from 19I feet distance there is little difficulty in directing a 
torpedo against an enemy's ship by the use of a pole, the 
problem became simply how best to build vessels which 
would be unnoticed on approach. In the Russo-Turkish 
war of 1877, out of nine cases of attack by Russian torpedo 
boats the Turks lost one ironclad and two steamers, while 
three ironclads were injured. The loss in men is unknown. 
On the Russian side three torpedo boats were injured, also 
three steam sloops, while one torpedo boat was sunken. 
Two sailors were killed and ten wounded. 

Similar results were obtained in the time of the French- 
Tonkin war of 1885. Two ordinary steam cutters, not more 
than 46 feet in length, armed with torpedoes, on the 
night of the 14-15 February, 1885, attacked a Chinese 
frigate of 3500 tons and sank it. This frigate was hidden 
in the harbour of Shein under the cover of fortifications, 
but the French Admiral Courbet was at a distance of 
several knots from this harbour. Hidden in the darkness 
the French cutters covered the distance unnoticed, and 
after destroying the Chinese ship returned uninjured to 
the admiral's flagship. 

The history of the Chilian war presents a similar case, 
when, after an attack lasting no more than seven minutes, 
the Congressionalist ironclad Blanco Encalada was sent to 
the bottom. 

From this is evident the immense danger with which 
armour-clads are threatened by torpedo-boats armed with 
Whitehead and other torpedoes of recent design. It must 
be remembered that not only torpedo-boats, but almost all 
ships of war are armed with such weapons of destruction 

It is natural that the complement of these inventions 
was a new system of defence against the action of torpedo- 
boats. A new type of war vessel, the torpedo-catcher, was 


evolved, specially adapted for dealing with torpedo-boats, 
powerfully armed, and steaming at a speed of 32 knots an 

Admiral Werner declares that as soon as the price of 
aluminium falls so low that it may be employed for the 
construction of ships, the sides of ships will be so power- 
fully protected, in consequence of the lightness of the 
material, that the strongest explosive shell will not 
penetrate them, and a battle against torpedo-boats will 
become mere child's play. Now the price of aluminium 
has lately fallen to such an extent that it is already being 
employed for many articles of domestic use, such as keys. 
If this prophecy be fulfilled the European powers will be 
compelled to disburse fresh millions on aluminium ships. 
This could have but one consequence. Invention, even 
now stimulated in most countries by manufacturers and 
their patrons, would seek to discover even more powerful 
explosive combinations. The last act in this rivalry it is 
impossible to foresee. 

For the purpose of protection against mines, the more 
important parts of warships, the boilers and engines, are 
now being protected even under water by especial 
armour, and surrounded with layers of coal. In addition 
water-tight compartments have been adopted to ensure 
the unsinkability of the ships, and torpedo-nets are 
carried. The value of such defences will be proved in 
the future. But experiments carried on in England have 
tended to show that the protection of torpedo-nets is 
ineffective. On experiment being made to ascertain 
whether a torpedo-boat might pass through an obstacle 
constructed of strong beams, it was shown that the 
torpedo-boat, striking the obstacle when at a speed of 20 
knots, broke it and returned to harbour undamaged. 

A commission appointed by the United States Govern- 
ment for the purpose of considering the question of attack 
by and defence against torpedo-boats, came to the almost 
unanimous conclusion that torpedo-boats will certainly 
destroy an armour-clad if they escape destruction during 
the two minutes in the course of which the vessel attacked 


will be able to employ its quick-firing guns. But the 
effectiveness of defence is weakened by the fact that in 
all navies the number of torpedo-boats is from three to 
seven times greater than the number of armour-clads, and 
the loss of several torpedo-boats cannot be compared in 
gravity with the loss of a single armour-clad carrying an 
incomparably larger crew, and costing an incomparably 
greater sum. 

It is true that the smallness of torpedo-boats and the 
insignificant quantity of stores they carry prevent them 
from seeking an enemy in the open sea. But these 
obstacles are overcome by the building of special vessels 
for the transport of torpedo-boats. In addition, all tor- 
pedo-boats built to-day are seagoing, develop great speed, 
and steam a considerable distance with their own supply 
of coal, while their size is being increased on all sides. 

In any event, it is not reckless to predict in the near 
future the invention of subterranean torpedo-boats, which 
will carry torpedoes of such power that even aluminium 
armour will not avail to save the vessel attacked. 

A future war on sea might be considered under the 
following heads : Operations on the littoral, operations 
against ports and merchant ships, and battles between 
separate ships, squadrons, and fleets. With long-range 
modern guns and powerful projectiles, maritime towns 
may be threatened with a destruction from which they will 
not recover for a long time. Of the smooth-bore 12-inch 
mortar of the old type, the greatest range was 2500 yards ; 
the modern i2?T-inch guns of the Canet system throw a 
shell weighing "986 pounds, and filled with 275 pounds 
of explosives, to a distance of 13^ miles, so that towns 
may now be bombarded from a considerable distance. It 
must be remembered that, as is shown by the practice at 
manoeuvres, the principle that undefended towns are not 
to be subjected to bombardment is not acknowledged, and 
in a future war no town will be spared. As evidence of 
this the following case may be cited. On August 24, 1889, 
the following letter was addressed by the commander of 
the Collingwood to the Mayor of Peterhead : 


By order of the Vice-Admiral commanding the nth division of 
the fleet : I have to demand from your town a contribution of 
;f 150,000 sterling. I require you to deliver to the bearer of this 
letter a guarantee of the immediate fulfilment of this condition. 
I regret the necessity of demanding such a large sum from the 
peace-loving and industrious population of the town, but I cannot 
act otherwise in view of the immense contributions exacted by 
your warships from the prosperous city of Belfast. I must add 
that in case the officers who deliver this letter do not return 
within the course of two hours the town will be burnt, the ship- 
ping destroyed, and factories ruin'id. 

This letter was printed in all the newspapers, and 
called forth no protest. On a question being raised on 
the subject in the House of Commons, the First Lord of 
the Admiralty answered evasively. It is evident then that 
England will not refrain from such action when convenient, 
and as her voice is the most important in naval matters, 
the other powers will certainly follow her example. 

To avoid such dangers, all powers have occupied them- 
selves with the defence of their coasts by means of fortifi- 
cations, and the building of railways for the transport of 
artillery from one point to another as the exigencies of 
defence demand. But the firing from coast batteries, 
notwithstanding ingenious methods of measuring the 
distance of moving and hardly visible objects, would be 
only waste of powder and shell. A steamer moving with 
a speed of 13 miles an hour will in 30 seconds traverse 
175 yards while a shot from coast artillery requires about 
five minutes. By skilful artillerymen this time might be 
shortened to from two to three minutes. On the other 
hand, in the bombardment of the immense spaces covered 
by coast towns almost every shell will find its sacrifice, 
and each upon explosion will cause ruin over an immense 

The blockade of ports in a future war is also likely to 
have immense importance, since each of the combatants will 
consider as a main object the interruption of the maritime 
communications of the other, and the causing of all possible 
damage to trade by blockading his ships in ports and 


But history teaches that even in a time when sails were 
the only method of sailing, single vessels and even whole 
squadrons succeeded in escaping into the open sea. It 
would seem that nowadays, what with the speed of 
vessels, and the strength of coast defences which compel 
blockading ships to remain at a considerable distance, 
no state can rely absolutely upon closing the ports of even 
a weaker enemy, whose cruisers may therefore keep the 
sea, and injure and interrupt the trade of the stronger 

In contrast with that which is the case on land, the field 
of battle at sea is in no way limited, and both sides 
have a free choice of movement. Here we find not a 
certain number of human beings, but a limited number of 
floating fortresses equipped with complex machinery, and 
armed with guns and torpedoes of almost miraculous 
power, cruisers which for rapidity of movement may be 
likened to the fabled giant with the seven-league boots, 
and finally torpedo-boats equipped with forces capable of 
sending the greatest battleship to the bottom. In open 
sea battle will take place only at the will of the swifter 
fleet. The commander will also find himself in a position 
different from that of a general on land. At sea the com- 
mander is first in the battle, he stands in the midst of all, 
he is the first object of the enemy's fire, his decision must 
be immediate. In the opinion of the majority of specialists, 
vessels which take part in great battles will issue from 
them damaged to such an extent, that for the rest of the 
period for which the war will last they need not be taken 
into account. 

In the first half of the present century the effect of 
shore batteries on ships, and the results of battles be- 
tween ships themselves, were not very terrible. The 
heavy shot discharged by smooth-bore guns carried for a 
very short distance, often missed its target, and the greater 
part of the damage it caused could be repaired by means 
at hand. 

The adaptation of rifled guns, and of shells charged with 
high explosives, have entirely changed the conditions of 


war. The destruction now caused by a single well-aimed 
shell is so great that in comparison the effect of red-hot 
shot is but a trifle. Modern shells will not merely penetrate 
vessels, causing a puncture their own diameter in size, but 
will destroy whole sections of the ship, annihilating every- 
thing around them. Yet on modern vessels are found 
machinery of every kino, marine engines, dynamo-electric 
engines, pumping steering, hauling, and ventilating appa- 
ratus. Every gun, every steam pinnace has its own com- 
plex machinery. Add to this miles of electric wire, and a 
wilderness of constructions of every kind concentrated in 
the machinery departments, in which men by artificial 
light, and in artificially induced atmosphere, in isolated 
groups, and cut off from their commanders, must with full 
control of their business, execute immediately and coolly 
orders proceeding from an unseen leader by telegraph. 
Such, in brief, is the modern man-of-war. 

To give some idea of the role played by machinery in 
modern ships we may cite a comparison made by Admiral 
Makarof between a wooden frigate of the old type and 
the modern cruiser Rurik : " The engines and boilers of 
the cruiser Rurik occupy 192 feet length in the widest 
part of the ship. In order to understand what this means 
we may say that if we were to take out of the ship the 
engines and boilers, also the coal bunkers, and fill the 
vacant space with water, a frigate of the old type might 
easily be moored inside, with all its equipment and all its 
guns. Around the frigate there would be sufficient space to 
steer a pinnace. Within this space of 192 feet all is com- 
pressed to a seemingly impossible extent. . . . The engi- 
neer must be an acrobat, and the stoker, who with forced 
draught must make the boiler give twice the steam 
pressure that corresponds to its dimensions, must in 
endurance and energy give way in little to Satan him- 

With growing complexity of the mechanism the need 
for intelligence has also grown. In former times when 
wind was the only motive power of vessels the result of 
battles depended much from skilful seamanship, and in 


the end of ends was decided by boarding. Steam power 
has entirely changed these conditions. The course of the 
battle will be determined by steam alone, whatever may be 
the direction of the wind, and it will be decided by tor- 
pedoes, by artillery, or by the ram. In the time of sail- 
ing ships a movement once determined upon could not be 
concealed; with steam it need not be revealed until the 
last movement. Thus the need for leadership and decision 
has grown to a remarkable degree. The German authority 
Henning justly remarks : " As far as technique is con- 
cerned, it may be said that everywhere, in England, 
France, Germany, Russia, and Italy, it will give similar 
results. Here the whole question lies in the training and 
firmness of the commander and of the crew, and afterwards 
in the successful employment of technical factors. Of 
course he will have an advantage who commands a crew 
formed of born sailors, but in battle this advantage may 
be counterbalanced by individual qualities of command." 

After making a study of the conclusions which are 
drawn from the battle of Lissa, the wars of 1870 and 
1877, the Chilian war of 1879, the Tonkin Expedition 
of 1885, the naval operations in the Chilian war of 1891, 
and, finally, the war between China and Japan, and having 
in view the opinions of the best authorities, such as White, 
Brassey, and Werner, it is impossible not to conclude 
that a battle between fleets equal in speed and arma- 
ment will lead very quickly to the destruction by shell- 
fire and conflagration of the upper decks in which are 
concentrated the chief directing elements, while a con- 
siderable part of the crew will be killed, and in the number 
every officer who successively occupies the post of com- 
mander. In one word, in the first battle a considerable 
proportion of the ships will be destroyed, and the remainder 
will be forced to go into port to refit. Therefore in war 
the strongest will prove to be the nation which possesses 
the greatest number of arsenals and ready stores of 
ammunition and coal at points selected in times of peace ; 
and in addition to that a fleet in reserve, even a fleet of 
old type, but equipped with modern artillery ; with such a 


fleet it will be possible to strike deadly blows at the enemy 
when the fleets of the first line shall have been forced to 
leave the seas in consequence of damage sustained in battle. 

In all probability future naval battles will present this 
difference from those of the past—even from recent battles 
— that solitary vessels will not take part, but whole 
squadrons consisting, as armies, of their own sort of 
cavalry, artillery, and infantry, that is, their swift cruisers, 
their battleships, and, finally, of their torpedo-boats and 
torpedo-catchers. With this the element of accident will 
play such an important role that naval battles will almost 
resemble a game of dice in which the stakes will be millions 
of money and thousands of lives. 

It is certain that all that is not defended by armour will 
be swept from the decks by the shell-fire of quick-firing 
guns, and it remains an open question if even that portion 
of the crew which is in protected positions will be able to 
stand the concussion produced by the explosion of shells. 
Attention must be called to the ease with which shells pro- 
duce conflagrations of decks, masts, bridges and everything 
inflammable. All that is near the region of explosion of a 
shell will be totally destroyed, a thousand steel fragments 
will fly about with inconceivable rapidity, penetrating 
decks and corridors. Some of the shells which fall in an 
ironclad will immediately make a part of its guns useless, 
and the employment of the larger guns will be impeded, 
since the turning of the turrets will be impeded by torn 
plates. Shells containing heavy charges will cause 
immense destruction. If a shell loaded with 22 pounds 
of melinite were to fall between the two decks of an iron- 
clad its explosion would destroy the balks supporting 
the deck, rend the iron sheets, pierce the deck, stretch the 
electric wires until they broke, damage the steam pipes 
and boilers — in one word, disable all the vital organs of the 
ship for a space of several yards around the region of 
explosion, and in addition produce suffocating fumes which 
would prevent approach for a quarter of an hour, however 
perfect might be the ventilation. 

It needs no evidence to prove that it is extremely 


doubtful that any one state can obtain a decided prepon- 
derance above the others in the quahty of its ships or their 
armament. In the present state of technical science every 
improvement adopted by one power is immediately adopted 
by all the others. The number of vessels of an obsolete 
type is great, but these less effective ships are divided 
among the different powers in proportion. The fate of 
future battles will therefore depend primarily on acci- 
dents which cannot be foreseen, and secondly on the 
possession at a given moment of preponderating strength. 
But in this respect we find that in spite of all efforts the 
relative strength of fleets has changed but little, and the 
comparison made by Admiral Werner therefore seems 
entirely true. " A naval battle," he says, " if both adver- 
saries are determined and energetic, will resemble a conflict 
between two stags which in a moment of fury rush upon 
one another, entangling their antlers, and in the end of 
ends destroying one another. Or if the enemies are less 
determined a naval battle will resemble a contest of 
athletes, the combatants moving backwards and forwards 
in serpentine lines ; both will keep up fire from a great 
distance until neither has enough ammunition left to strike 
a decisive blow." 

To cruisers and torpedo-boats will be allotted a duty 
not less ferocious — a duty which, in the Middle Ages, was 
fulfilled by pirates and privateers — to pursue merchant 
ships, fall on them by night and sink them, with passengers, 
crews and cargoes, with the object of cutting the communi- 
cations and paralysing the trade of the enemy. The 
following passage, which we find in " Les Guerres Navales 
de Demain," is an interesting illustration of this : " A war 
on commerce will have its regulations, precise, constant, 
and unconditional; the weak will be attacked without 
mercy, the strong will be evaded by flight without any false 
shame. Our torpedo-boats and cruisers as soon as they 
discover an English squadron from afar, or even a single 
battleship, it may be not exceeding them in fighting strength, 
but capable of offering even slight opposition, will be bound 
to disappear." 


From such passages, and from the declarations of 
unquestioned authorities, it is impossible not to con- 
clude that the effect of future naval wars on future trade 
will be incomparably more disastrous than before. A 
future war on sea will also draw after itself economic and 
political consequences quite different from those of the past, 
when every state found its needs supplied within the limits 
of its own dominions. The general use of shells loaded 
with explosives which may be thrown a distance of some 
miles, shells, one of which falling into a town or 
settled locality may cause the most terrible destruction ; 
and the speed with which vessels may be moved from one 
point of a coast to another, independently of weather and 
wind, must affect the minds of peoples, and even give rise 
to agitations. And such agitations, in view of the present 
general socialistic tendencies, may not be limited to tem- 
porary disorder. On preparations for naval war immense 
sums are yearly expended by the powers, but shipbuilding 
so constantly and so rapidly advances towards perfection, 
that a large proportion of modern fleets is obsolete, and 
incapable of meeting in battle vessels of the newer types, 
some being unfit for employment even after the destruc- 
tion of the latter. 

All this was more or less clearly foreseen ten years ago 
on the appearance of smokeless powder. And in the 
present time, in view of the speed attained by cruisers 
armed with strong artillery, and also by torpedo-boats of 
the latest type ; in view of the improvements in the propul- 
sion of torpedoes, and in view of the progress made in the 
building of submarine boats, it may be affirmed that even 
vessels of the latest types, however they may be divided 
among the different nations, cannot guarantee the attain- 
ment of the ends of war. 

Meantime, for the improvement and increase of fleets 
new credits are required every day. We may well inquire 
what degree the discontent of peoples may attain when 
they learn that even the newest types of ships and the 
last inventions in artillery have been adopted everywhere, 
while requirements still continue to grow. In view of 


those elements which in Western Europe to-day contend 
with all political and social order, even more absurd appears 
the rivalry of states in the increase of their fleets, while 
the relation of fighting force remains the same, and 
immense sums are yearly squandered which might have 
been devoted to the satisfaction of social needs. 

A comparison of the growth of expenditure on armies 
and fleets is presented by the following table (counting the 
rouble as equal to three shillings) : 



On Armies. 

On Fleets^ 

Millions of 
Roubles. £ 

615.4 92.325>ooo 
688.1 103,215,000 
885.1 132,765,000 
893.6 134,040,000 

Millions of 

Roubles. £, 

158.2 23,730,000 

218.6 32,790,000 

247.2 37,080,000 

299.6 44,940,000 











1874 . 

1884 . 
1891 . 
1896 . 

To express more clearly the comparative growth of 
outlay on armed forces, we take the outlay of 1874 at 100, 
and find the following percentage increase : 


The comparison which we have made as to the naval 
resources of the different states shows that these millions 
can have no practical result, even if we admit that war is 
as unavoidable in the future as it has been in the past. 

Calculations made by us show that England alone in a 
prolonged war could obtain the mastery of the sea, forcing 
the other naval powers to give way everywhere. But on 
the other hand, the interruption of communications at sea 
would cause the English such great losses as to eliminate 
the possibility of a prolonged war, even although they were 
absolutely certain of victory. The cessation of the import 
of provisions would not allow of England continuing a 
prolonged war. Of wheat, barley, and rye England lacks 
supplies for 274 days and of oats for ^6 days in the year. 


Even if we agree with the baseless opinion of optimists 
and assume that the transport of supphes to England 
might be carried on under convoy, still we must bear in 
mind the terrible rise in prices in consequence of the risk. 
And side by side with this rise in prices would proceed 
the interruption of industry. 

Thus, in continuing to increase their fleets and to per- 
fect their armaments at immense cost the European powers 
are striving at aims undefined and unattainable. But the 
financial and social difficulties which yearly increase may 
result in such dangers that governments must be compelled 
after immense sacrifices to do what it would be wiser to do 
to-day, namely, to abandon a fruitless competition. 

Such is a brief picture of what Europe may expect from 
a future war. But over and above the direct sacrifices and 
material losses, by slaughter, fire, hunger, and disease, a 
war will cause to humanity a great moral evil in conse- 
quence of the peculiar forms which a struggle on sea will 
assume and of the examples of savagery which it will pre- 
sent at a moment when the civil order will be threatened by 
new theories of social revolution. 

What wearisome and ungrateful labour will be needed 
to repair the losses, to cure the wounds which a war of a 
single year will cause ! How many flourishing countries 
will be turned into wildernesses and rich cities into ruins 1 
How many tears will be shed, how many will be left in 
beggary ! How long will it be before the voices of the 
best men, after such a terrible example, will preach to 
humanity a higher principle than *' might is right" ? 



A CHARACTERISTIC feature of our time is the technical 
improvement of all military apparatus. Hardly has a new 
rifle or a new gun been adopted before it is necessary to 
replace it by fresh weapons. Within a short time we may 
expect new improvements in powder, and this in its turn 
will require changes in all war material. In recent times 
these changes, consequent on new inventions, have taken 
place more and more swiftly. Of this, perhaps the 
building of fortresses is the best example. After fabulous 
sums had been lavished on the building of fortresses on a 
new system with all the latest technical improvements, the 
opinion has gained ground that modern strategy requires 
fortresses only to a limited extent, a view, the probability 
of which is increased by the fact that every army will be 
equipped with instruments for the construction of its own 
defensive works. 

A similar process of change may be observed in the 
building of fleets. In the past one and the same type 
was employed in the course of three hundred years 
without essential change. After this began the building 
of ironclads, and in the course of thirty years the various 
types of ships may be counted by tens. In the present 
time opinions change so rapidly that no sooner is a vessel 
launched than it is found not to come up to the newest 
requirements. Meantime, every new ship costs more 
than the last. Even the richest nations have begun to 
groan under the burden. 

In this relation Russia especially finds herself in a 



difficult position. At a time when in Western countries 
a powerful social initiative heaped up wealth, when towns 
sprang up, not as centres of local authority, but as trading 
and industrial centres, and when in the country free labour, 
full ownership of land, and the accumulation of savings 
ensured the erection of good and durable buildings for 
man and beast, the construction of good roads, the regu- 
lation of water communications, and the building of fac- 
tories, in that time in Russia the economic life of the 
people, their social initiative, and even the satisfaction 
of their necessities were paralysed by the existence of 

The Crimean war resulted in disorder in the finances 
and in the money system which had only just been brought 
into order, and in addition to this, shook the faith of men 
in the old system of government. The reform of the 
administrative apparatus was all the more essential owing 
to the subsequent emancipation of the serfs. The necessity 
for building roads was recognised. The peasants received 
their freedom and occupied themselves with the working 
of their fields. Savings they could not have. They 
lived in poverty and the conditions of their lives were 
most primitive. Landowners had not the capital to carry 
on agriculture, and were forced to let their land to the 
peasantry for labour or on lease. The work of the 
peasantry, both on their own lands and on that of the 
landowners, continued to be most primitive. Meeting no 
support from industry in the utilisation of their products, 
agriculturists were compelled to export them in a raw 
form. Russia exported grain, cattle, and phosphates to 
improve the soil of foreigners, while Russian soil itself 
constantly deteriorated. Such, briefly, was the condition 
of the chief part of the Russian population at a time 
when Western Europe was advancing in industry and 
prosperity by bounds. 

Meantime, the population rapidly grew. In a time 
when the population of the Empire was estimated at some 
hundred and ten and odd millions, the census of last 
year gave the figure at more than one hundred and 


twenty-nine million souls. This yearly growth of the 
population, estimated approximately at two millions, un- 
doubtedly constitutes an increase of wealth, but only in 
the event of there being sufficient resources for the feeding 
and training of the growing population. Otherwise it 
must only result in an increase of the proletariat. 

In comparison with its revenue the Empire has an 
immense debt. Interest on the Imperial Debt occupies the 
second place in the Budget, and is only a little less than 
the expenditure of the Ministry of War (;^40,8oo,ooo and 
;^43,200,ooo in 1898). The finances showed a deficit 
even before the Crimean war. After the Crimean war the 
position was worse, and every attempt to diminish the 
extraordinary expenditure proved fruitless in consequence 
of the war of 1877-78. Meantime, fresh expenditure 
was entailed by re-armament, the construction of fortresses 
and strategical railways. Independently of these it was 
necessary for the development of industry to return to the 
construction of railways which had been suspended 
in 1875, although a great part of the railways promised 
only to pay, or even cover their expenses, in the future. 
It is natural that this increase in indebtedness had as 
inevitable consequence an increase in the burden of 

To contend with such a position was very difficult, but 
thanks to twenty years of peace and the energetic efforts 
of the Ministry of Finances, the deficits vanished from the 
ordinary Budget, and it seemed that money could even be 
found for productive purposes. But in all circumstances 
the finances of a country depend on the economic con- 
dition of the people. We have already briefly pointed 
out, and shall hereafter show in greater detail, how badly 
Russia compares in this respect with the countries of 
Western Europe. The severity of the climate prevents 
agricultural work during a considerable part of the year, 
and involves greater demand for clothing, dwelling, food, 
heat, and light. The great number of holidays still 
further shortens production, even in the working season. 
With such conditions it is inevitable that savings for a 


rainy day among the Russian people should be insignifi- 
cant, and such they are shown to be in reality. Every 
famine, even a local failure of harvest, is the cause of a 
veritable disaster. 

With such a state of affairs it is needless to point out 
the absolute necessity for great caution in the expenditure 
of money on military purposes. It is quite true that in 
this respect Russia cannot fail behind the other powers, 
but she must not follow blindly after them, and, above all, 
she must not attempt to outstrip them, for such a course 
might lead to the most disastrous consequences. In the 
struggle for money the rivalry is unequal, Russia is 
weaker for two reasons — first, she has less reserves ; 
secondly, she gives orders abroad, pays more than other 
powers, and sends her money out of the country. While 
England, Germany, and France themselves construct and 
prepare all that they need at the lowest possible cost, 
keeping their money at home, Russia is compelled to take 
a less advantageous course. Thus, for instance, in ordering 
ships of war in England, or building them at home to a 
large extent with imported materials and machinery, 
Russia pays at least 25 per cent, more than the building 
of warships costs the English Government, and sends into 
that country money which England afterwards uses for 
the strengthening of her own fleet. By her orders Russia 
helps to keep up English shipbuilding yards, which in 
time of war would make it easy for England to repair 
quickly the losses she sustained. 

Every effort put forth by Russia in the strengthening of 
her fleet calls forth corresponding activity in foreign 
countries. The recent assignation of ;£ 13, 500,000 
(ninety millions of roubles) to strengthen the fleet may 
serve as an example. As the direct consequence of this 
the project of the German Government to allot several 
millions of marks to increasing the fleet during a period 
of seven years, a project which had met with strong 
opposition in the Reichsrath, was agreed to without any 
further difficulty. As a natural consequence the French 
and Austrian Governments already demand from their 


parliaments extraordinary credits for the same purpose. 
Thus, as the final result of this rivalry, the relationship 
of the nava< powers will remain what it was before. 

All this only confirms the necessity for greater caution 
and concentration of resources in the satisfying of those 
requirements which in a given time are most insistent. 
Precisely as climatic conditions in every country demand 
a suitable distribution of agricultural labour, in military 
affairs a definitive plan also is essential corresponding 
with needs and resources. The first question which would 
be asked after the adoption of such a system is : Must 
Russia be equally ready to carry on war on land and 
on sea ? 

In order to define the importance of naval power in a 
naval war two propositions must be made — first, that a 
war impends with the Triple Alliance, in the event of 
which Russia has the support of France ; and secondly, 
that a war is probable with England. It is necessary, 
first of all, to observe the immense preponderance of 
armies and of operations on land over naval forces and 
possible operations at sea. The armies which would 
enter upon war on the Continent are numbered by 
millions of men. The armies of the first line of both 
alliances number more than six and a half millions. 
The armies of the second line would number almost six 

What role will be played by the fleet during the conflict 
of such masses ? To this question we get the best answer 
by reverting to the war of 1870. Germany then possessed 
a fleet in no way fit to oppose the fleet of France. Yet 
the French fleet was compelled to abandon all plans of a 
landing upon the German coast, and did not even make an 
attempt to accomplish them. From the first, Moltke was 
so convinced of the impossibility of such a diversion that 
in his plan of military operations in 1870, relying upon 
the numerical superiority of the German army, he declared : 
"The superiority of our forces at the point where the 
decisive blow will be struck will be all the greater if the 
French undertake an expedition against the northern coast 


of Germany." This is the best evidence of the disregard 
he paid to all projects of invasion. 

From that time the organisation of the armies of the 
great powers has gone still further, so that, even if the 
whole of an army and its reserves were engaged in 
operations on the frontier or in the territory of the enemy, 
it would nevertheless not be difficult to oppose a superior 
force to any that could be landed on the coast. 

From estimates made in Italy, the transport of an army 
corps fully equipped with provisions for a month, and 
corresponding train, would require a fleet with a dis- 
placement of 116,000 tons. Professor Deguis says that, 
in the first 15-20 days from the beginning of operations, 
France could despatch an expedition of not more than 
30,000 men. But in the face of modern artillery, small 
arms, and coast defences, a landing could only be accom- 
plished widi great difficulty. 

Only a change of wind, a sudden storm or a thick fog is 
needed to interrupt the operation of landing, and to place 
the forces already on shore in a critical position. 

It is true that we hear talk of the possibility of war- 
ships holding the coast-line under their guns and keeping 
it entirely clear of the defenders' troops. In reality, it 
happens that warships of deep draught, in order to keep 
clear of rocks and shoals, are compelled to stand at a dis- 
tance of 1 100 to 1600 yards from the shore, and, incom- 
moded in movement by their transports, they regulate 
their fire with difficulty. But the enemy, relying upon 
long-range artillery, does not show himself at all upon the 
open shore, but shelters himself behind dunes and 
eminences or keeps even farther in the interior. The fire 
from warships may be powerful, but it is scattered and for 
this reason cannot be effective. During the bombard- 
ment of the insurgents' camp in Crete the allied squadron 
fired seventy shells, with a resulting loss to the insurgents 
of three killed and fifteen wounded. 

We will not speak of the possibility of a Russian 
descent upon the coast of Germany. But let us suppose 
that the Germans were to land troops, of course without 


cavalry, on the Baltic coast, what could they effect ? We 
have heard of course of the possibility of the Germans 
landing near Riga in order to cut the communications of 
the Russian army situated in Lithuania, or descending 
near Narva in order to operate against St, Petersburg. 
But this is almost a phantasy. Wherever they might be 
landed, an enemy's forces moving into the interior would 
be gradually weakened by the allotment of a consider- 
able proportion for the purpose of preserving communi- 
cations. Meantime the strength of the defence would 
continuously grow. With the aid of the telegraph and 
the railway, troops might be brought to the threatened 
locality in a very short time. Nor could their arrival at 
the scene of operations be interfered with by the destruc- 
tion of the railways, for the invading army will be without 

The success of the allied armies in the Crimea may be 
adduced against this argument. Such an objection has 
been answered by Von der Goltz in his work " Das Volk in 
Waffen." He says : " If the armies landed in the Crimea 
were victorious over the local forces the cause of this was 
that, however difficult communication by sea was for the 
allies, these conditions were more favourable than the land 
communications used by the defenders in their own 
country. If in 1854 Russia had had her present network 
of railways, the French, the English and the Turks, 
at first landing in the Crimea to the number of 120,000 
men, would not have remained there long." 

The undertaking of a descent in considerable force 
is improbable, if only for the reason that it weakens the 
strength of the army which must defend the frontier where 
superiority of forces is aimed at by both sides. In certain 
events Germany would be compelled to carry on war on 
two frontiers. Her enemies would only desire that she 
should make the mistake which Moltke expected from 

Thus for the protection of her coasts, Russia has no 
need whatever to increase her fleet, for the descent of an 
enemy would place her in no danger whatever, even 


if she did not dispose of her present fleet. This opinion 
is held even in Germany. 

The bombardment of a coast town, however important it 
may be as a political, industrial, or trading centre, can 
only cause material losses to private individuals and to the 
state. But such operations can have no effect on the 
resources which a country possesses for the purpose of 
carrying on war. The destruction caused can have no 
influence whatever on the course of the war on land, and 
even if all the seaports of a country were bombarded 
it could in no way change the course of events. The 
essential fact is this, that a continental war will not be 
carried on merely with the object of causing losses to the 
enemy and beginning negotiations for peace on the basis 
of the losses caused. A future war will be a struggle 
between whole peoples, and each side will have as its 
object the total overthrow of the enemy. Therefore such 
bombardments of coast towns, however wealthy and 
important these latter may be, would only represent 
so much destruction with little influence on the issue 
of the struggle. 

Even in this respect Russia is in a better position than 
Germany ; the Russian coast being less thickly populated, 
the losses from bombardment would be less, and conse- 
quently a numerous fleet is less necessary for Russia than 
for Germany. With the exception of Riga, Revel, and 
Helsingfors, strongly fortified, there are no important 
towns on the Russian coast. And the Russian fleet, 
even as constituted now, represents a very considerable 

Even the complete destruction of a fleet could have 
little influence upon a continental war. In commenting 
upon the experience gained from the last wars in Europe^ 
we may point first to the destruction of the Italian fleet 
by the Austrians at Lissa in 1866. What benefit did this 
naval victory bring to Austria, beaten at Sadova ? In 
1870 a German fleet scarcely existed, while the French 
fleet had full freedom to act, yet Germany sustained no 
damage and her naval inferiority in no way influenced the 


course of the war. The French sailors were far more 
needed for the defence of Paris. It is true that the 
maritime trade of Germany was arrested. But whatever 
the number of warships may be, communications by sea 
will be cut. Nowadays every power has sufficient cruisers, 
and merchant ships which might be turned into cruisers, 
in order to stop all trade by sea. 

Battleships against this will be of little use. In speed 
they must give way to cruisers which will evade them and 
simply laugh at their unwieldy adversaries. Battleships 
will be valuable only for battle between themselves and 
for attack upon coasts. 

But let us postulate that the Russian navy had a decided 
preponderance over that of the enemy, sending to the 
bottom many more of his ships than she lost herself. 
Even in such case the Russian fleet would at best be in 
the position of the French fleet in 1870, which not only 
gained no victories, but found no foe. The victorious 
fleet would steam along the coast and threaten certain 
localities. Suppose that the Russian fleet were to act 
more energetically than the French fleet in 1870 and 
bombard mercilessly a great number of the smaller coast 
towns of Germany. The great German cities, Bremen, 
Hamburg, Stettin, Kiel, Dantzig, and Konigsberg would 
remain inaccessible, standing too far from the coast. 

But to attain results, even in the case of the less 
important towns, would be no easy task for a fleet of 
ironclads. On approaching the coast they must meet 
with the torpedo-boats, submarine mines, and submarine 
boats of the enemy, and run very great risks. Modern 
science has contrived a very different system of coast 
defence from that which obtained in 1870. But we will 
suppose that the Russian fleet were uninjured. Yet if 
the fleet does not dispose of swift cruisers, hundreds of 
merchant vessels will escape from harbour and the blockade 
will be ineffective. In this respect one cruiser may do 
more than a whole fleet of unwieldy battleships, which 
consume immense quantities of coal, a material which the 
Russian fleet could obtain only with difficulty. Thus, if 


the battleships cannot be devoted to the interruption of 
trade, their operations must be confined to the destruction 
of peaceful settlements, the slaughter of unarmed men, 
women and children, leading to an increase of savagery in 
the relations of the contending peoples. 

Suppose that victory should remain on the side of 
Germany, acting, it might be, in co-operation with Eng- 
land, the results would be even less considerable, for the 
Russian coast is much more thinly peopled. We will 
even go farther and suppose that the German fleet proved 
victorious over the French. What influence could such a 
result have on the events of the war on land between the 
two states ? In all probability no more than the superiority 
of the French fleet in 1 870, for Germany would certainly 
not make the mistake of attempting a descent upon the 
French coast. 

Prince Bismarck, in one of his speeches, drew the 
following comparison of the importance of successes on 
sea and land in a war between continental powers : " It 
must not be forgotten that the capture of every village 
represents a real success, the importance of which is 
immediately felt, while the capture of an enemy's vessel 
only goes into the general account, which must be settled 
at the conclusion of the war. The capture of a fortress 
ensures the possession of territory, while the capture even 
of a whole fleet at best represents only means for under- 
taking fresh conquests." But Russia, even if she aimed 
at conquests in Germany and Austria, would not need a 
fleet, for the land frontiers of both these countries are 
conterminous with hers for an immense distance. 

Let us consider two hypotheses : (i) That the armies of 
Russia were defeated, while her fleet gained a complete 
victory : in the final result of course Russia would be 
beaten. (2) That the Russian army gained complete 
victory while her fleet was annihilated ; the result would 
be that Russia would gain all the fruits of her victory on 
land. The conquered on land would be forced to pay 
contributions, and even their fleets might pass into the 
hands of Russia. 


To this it may be replied that since France, Germany, 
and England increase their fleets we must do the same. 
Whether France is acting wisely in increasing her fleet 
we will not stop to consider, since France must bear in 
mind the possibility of a conflict with Italy, protect her 
interests in the Mediterranean and her colonial possessions, 
and, we may observe, the greater her naval forces increase 
the greater will be the security of Russia, although it must 
be noted that in France every expedition to distant countries 
gives cause for complaints as to unreadiness, disorder and 
defects in the personnel. It is enough to read the work of 
M. Lockroy, former Minister of Marine, to be convinced 
that the French fleet is far from being on a level with the 
English, and that the incessant attempts made to overtake 
England have only resulted in hindering the French fleet 
in its efforts to be fully ready for war. Even if we allow 
that there is much exaggeration in the complaints which 
have been made, it is impossible not to conclude that as 
France cannot rival England in the number of her ships, the 
French Government would do better to devote all its atten- 
tion to preparing the fleet in its present composition for war. 

For Germany an increase in the navy is not demanded by 
any interests in Europe, and if it had not been for the 
example of Japan, in all probability, the Emperor William 
would not have set himself so passionately to the increase 
of his fleet. 

In a very different position is England. Her funda- 
mental interests demand that she shall remain mistress of 
the seas, everywhere and against every possible enemy, 
preserving from all danger not only the British Islands, 
but her maritime trade, her immense colonies in all 
quarters of the globe, and those communications by which 
the riches of the Old and New Worlds are exchanged to 
her advantage, and from which depend the ebb and flow 
of her social life. Mistress of the seas, England can be at 
rest, both as concerns herself and as concerns her colonies. 
For her the mastery of the seas is no empty word, and 
she has every good reason to devote all her resources to 
the strengthening of her fleet. 


In its turn this example of England may be instructive 
for other countries. England does not rely on the strength 
of her armies. A country composed of islands, having a 
commanding fleet is secure, and consequently it may 
wisely sacrifice all to the increase of its fleet. Russia is 
in a very different position, and her fleet can in no way 
guarantee her safety. A decisive blow can be struck 
only on land, and for Russia a navy has only an auxiliary 
importance, in proportion as it influences operations on 
land. If a naval war be carried on independently of these 
operations, and without influence upon them, it represents 
a mere waste of strength and money. Even in relation to 
England it is more important for Russia to be strong on 
land than to increase her fleet, which never can be made 
to rival the navy of Great Britain. 

Not only is an increased fleet not essential for the safety 
of Russia, but an increase would produce very little moral 
effect on her possible enemies. Germany, as we have 
already pointed out, has no fear of a landing on her coast, 
and her fleet will always have the Northern Canal avail- 
able as a means of refuge. In England an increase in the 
number of Russian battleships would produce no impres- 
sion. There remains only Japan. But there is not one 
of Russia's vital interests which Japan could damage. The 
Siberian railway is important only as a means of trans- 
port, and neither Japan nor China has any interest in 
opposing transit across Siberia. 

For England the competition of the Siberian railway is 
insignificant. The freight rate from Hankow to Odessa 
or to London is only about twopence per pound, and the 
great proportion of Asiatic trade will continue to prefer 
this cheaper route. It is true that transport by railway 
will be shorter in time, but this has little importance. The 
use of the Siberian railway for purposes of trade cannot 
assume large measures for many years. For this an 
immense development in China would be required, and 
China is above all things a country of stagnation. 

In recent times Russia has made no small efforts to 
strengthen her fleet. In the course of the twenty years 


period, 1876-96, the expenditure of the Russian Ministry 
of Marine grew at a much greater rate than other branches 
of expenditure — that is, from ;^4,050,ooo to ;^9,ooo,ooo 
(in 1896, ;!^ 10,050,000), or 122 per cent. In the same 
period the expenditure on the army increased only 50 
per cent. Now the maritime trade of Russia for one 
inhabitant only amounts to fourteen shillings and three- 
pence — that is, the trading interests of the Russian popu- 
lation are twenty-two times less than those of the popula- 
tion of the United Kingdom, and seven times less than 
those of France, Germany, and the United States. Thus 
maritime trade has for Russia less importance than for 
other countries, not only from its smaller value but owing 
to her geographical position ; the land frontiers of Russia 
being immense, while her limited coast is icebound for a 
great part of the year. 

A more important consideration lies in the fact that 
those very powers which could place obstacles in the way 
of Russian maritime trade are those which are most 
dependent upon it, for neither Germany nor England could 
manage without Russian products. The stoppage of 
Russian trade would cause great injury to both these 
countries. From this it results that the maritime trade of 
Russia will be defended by the very nature of things, and 
not by the number of her warships. Yet Russia spends 
for every ton displacement of her own ships more than 
any other European state : that is to say, £^ 4s., while 
France spends £4. is. Sd., Italy £2 13s., Austria £1 8s., 
Germany £1, and England only 12s. gd. 

Naval expenditure amounts to 7 per cent, of the total 
value of her maritime trade, while that of France is 
6 per cent., that of England 3| per cent., and that of 
Germany less than 2 per cent. From this we see how 
insignificant are the trading interests of Russia. In the 
East they are quite inconsiderable. 

First of all it is necessary to consider what is the extent 
of that trade in China and Japan which so captivates the 
imaginations of Europeans. China imports goods of 
average value of ;{;4 1,050, 000, and exports her own 


products to the average value of ;^23,85o,ooo. The 
imports of Japan are valued at ;^6,7 50,000, and her 
exports at ^8,700,000. These figures refer to a time before 
the war between China and Japan, since which those 
countries have permitted themselves such expenditure that 
they have undoubtedly impoverished themselves, and will 
not quickly recover from the consequences. 

In this trade the share of Russia is quite inconsider- 
able. Of five hundred mercantile firms trading in China 
ten only are Russian. In the general export and import 
trade of China the share of Russia is as small as 4 per 
cent. The number of vessels entering Chinese ports in 
the year 1889 was 19,100, with a displacement of 
1 5,800,000 tons. Of these vessels but 44, with a displace- 
ment of 55,000 tons, were Russian, or less than ^ percent, 
of the total. 

True, we may expect that the construction of the Siberian 
railway will lead to the increase of Russian trade with 
China. But it will be safer not to have any illusions in this 
respect. A comparison of the present freight from Hankow 
to Odessa with the railway freight from Odessa to Moscow, 
will show what transport by the Siberian railway even 
with the lowest possible freights will cost. 

The political influence of a great fleet in the Far East 
may be of course adduced. We hear talk, for instance, of 
the acquisition of Corea. The possession of Corea could 
be of no possible advantage to Russia. Corea has a popu- 
lation of twelve millions, and the whole value of her trade, 
import and export, amounts to no more than ;^78o,ooo. 
With the conquest of Corea, Russia would have another 
distant point for the defence of which she would have 
to provide, and the greater the number of such weak 
places in the state the more its power is weakened. 
The immense defensive strength of Russia lies in the fact 
that she is a compact continent with a short coast line on 
which attack could be made. 

While Russia could draw no possible profit from the 
acquisition of Corea, she would suffer from the fact that 
the Coreans, becoming Russian subjects, would begin to 


immigrate into Siberia, leading the Chinese after them. 
When we recall the case of the United States, compelled 
to prohibit the immigration of Chinese coolies, it will 
appear plain that Russia would be compelled to take limi- 
tary measures against her Corean subjects, measures which 
would not exactly tend towards the reconciliation of the 
Coreans with their new position. It is not to be supposed 
that Russia is spending half a milliard roubles on the 
Siberian railway in order to facilitate the competition of 
Coreans and Chinese with the Russian settlers in Siberia. 
The settlement of Eastern Siberia with Coreans would also 
give rise to difficulties from the political point of view. 
For all such reasons the acquisition by Russia of Corea is 
not to be desired. 

In addition to this, from the direction of Japan there can 
be no serious danger. In her excessive armaments Japan 
is making efforts to follow in the footsteps of Europe, like 
the frog in the fable which, seeking to rival the size of the 
ox, blew himself out until he burst. Something of this 
nature must happen with Japan. The Amur territory of 
Russia is a wilderness which Japan cannot threaten. It is 
inconceivable that she would enter upon a war with Russia 
even though she were possessed of a preponderance in 



In considering the expenditure on past wars it would be 
necessary to add to the direct expenditure of Treasuries 
the losses sustained by populations through destruction of 
property, shortening of production, loss of trade, and 
generally from economic perturbations. The total of such 
losses would unquestionably exceed the total of the sums 
directly devoted by governments to the carrying on of 
war. But this total, of course, can only be estimated 
approximately. According to M. Leroy Beaulieu the 
expenditure by England in consequence of the French 
wars of the Revolution and of the First Empire, amounted 
to ;^840,ooo,ooo ; and the losses of men in Europe 
amounted to 2,100,000. Some authorities estimate this 
loss of men at a much higher figure ; Sir Francis Duver- 
nois finds that France alone, up to the year 1799, had lost 
i-| millions of men. 

The cost of the war with France from 18 12 to 1815, 
according to the accounts presented by Prince Barclay de 
Tolly to the Emperor, amounted to ;^23, 32 5,000. It is 
interesting to note some of the larger items in this account. 
Thus we find that ;^ 10,650,000 were devoted to pay, 
;^ 1, 800, 000 to provisions, ;^ 1,050, 000 to the purchase of 
horses, and ;^ 1,200,000 to rations. 

In reality the expenditure caused by this war was very 
much greater. The issue of assignats amounted to 
;^43, 8 50,000, and debts in consequence of loans, &c., to 
;£"22,950,ooo. In addition to this, Russia expended the 



subsidies received from England, and large sums, both 
in money and in kind, contributed by private indi- 

The Crimean is the first of great wars the expenditure 
of which can be defined with accuracy. The extraordinary 
expenditure caused by this war amounted to : 





Turkey and Sardinia 


;r74,20o,ooo or 1,855,000,000 francs. 
66,400,000 1,660,000,000 ,, 

160,000,000 4,000,000,000 ,, 

13,720,000 343,000,000 ., 

25,680,000 642,000,000 ,, 

;^340,ooo,ooo or 8,500,000,000 francs. 

Let us present these totals graphically : 

Expenditure on the Crimean War in Millions of Francs 


Thus the Crimean war laid on Europe an additional 
burden of i; 340,000,000. The total of the indirect 
losses caused by this war it is quite impossible to 

The expenditure on the war of 1859 is thus estimated 
by Leroy Beaulieu : 




;f 15,000,000 or 375,000,000 francs. 
25,400,000 635,000,000 „ 

10,200,000 255,000,000 „ 

Total . ;f 50,600,000 or 1,265,000,000 francs. 
Expenditure on the War of 1859 in Millions of Francs. 







After this we come to the North American Civil War. 
In the course of four years the Northern States put in 
the field 2,656,000 volunteers, and the Southern States 
1,100,000. The North expended in this struggle 
;^ 560,000,000, and the Southern States about the same 
sum. In a v^^ord, this conflict cost the United States 
;^ 1 ,000,000,000 direct outlay, and probably double that 
sum from destruction of property and decline in pro- 
duction. Estimating the average value of a slave at 
;^40, we find that an expenditure of ;^ 160,000,000 would 
have been sufficient for the peaceful decision of this 

In the Danish war of 1864 the expenditure was much 
less. It amounted to about ;^7,200,ooo for Denmark, 
and about the same for Prussia and Austria together. 
The Prussian-Austrian war of 1866 involved an expen- 
diture of about ;;/^66, 000, 000. In the war of 1870 the 
expenditure of Germany was covered by the French 
indemnity. As relates to France, the following are 
the statistics of her losses in the war of 1870 : From 
August I, 1870, to April i, 1871, France lost 3864 men 
through desertion, 310,449 taken prisoners, 4756 dis- 



charged from the service for inefficiency, &c., 21,430 
falling on the battlefield, 14,398 dying from wounds, and 
223,410 discharged for different reasons, including sick- 
ness. The money expenditure and losses of France 
amounted to : Military indemnity and payment for outlay 
on occupation, ;^225,i 18,554 2s. 6(/. ; contributions from 
Paris and other towns, ^10,040,000. The total expen- 
diture, indemnity and contributions caused by the war 
with Germany amounted to ;{^5o6,68o,ooo. To this must 
be added losses from interruption of communications 
and work, , so that the general total of losses caused by 
a war over the candidature of a Hohenzollern prince 
amounted to about one thousand millions of pounds 

The extraordinary expenditure of Russia caused by the 
war of 1877-78 was as follows : 




7,649,717 2 
64,399,213 7 
61,221,445 10 
19,816,397 8 

8,222,724 9 

161,309,497 16 













l.„l ,11 


T'"[[T |T'"]]| 

The figures in the diagram stand for millions of roubles (a 
rouble being taken as equivalent to 3s.) 



Of the losses and expenditure of Turkey statistics are 
not available. But taking the losses of Turkey at half of 
those sustained by Russia — that is, at no more than 
;^8o, 700,000, we get an expenditure on both sides of 
;^24 1, 950,000. 

I'hus we find that from 1853 ^^ 1878, a period of 
twenty-five years, the expenditure on the great wars of 
Europe, that is, the Crimean war, the war of 1859, the 
Auslro-Prussian war of 1866, the Franco-Prussian war of 
1870, and the war with Turkey of 1877-78, reaches the 
immense sum of ;^ 1,2 2 1,360,000. 

Expenditure of Europe on War in the second half of the 
Nineteenth Century. 











The figures in heavy type stand for millions of francs, the total 
of which amount to ;^i, 22 1,360,000. 

But heavy as is the cost of actual warfare, the burdens 
entailed by militarism in time of peace are no less crush- 
ing, and no easier to estimate precisely. The need of 
preparation for unforeseen events entails a growth of 
expenditure not only in the military and naval depart- 
ments, but in other departments of government. In 
1883 the military expenditure of Russia is defined as 



;^30, 2 34,693 3s., but this in no way formed the limit to 
the military outlays of Russia; for pensions, and out- 
lays by the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Ministry of 
Finances arising directly out of military necessities, 
increased this outlay by ;^3,ooo,ooo. The building and 
exploitation of railways further complicates such estimates. 
In 1893 the Ministry of War expended i;33. 829,681 7s. 
But to these figures it would strictly be necessary to add 
the following expenditure. Ministry of Finances, pen- 
sions over ;^900,ooo ; assistance to lower ranks, £6ys,000; 
recruiting, ;^93,750, and extraordinary expenditure by the 
Ministry of War in re-armament over ^^4,050,000. This 
extra expenditure, with other smaller items which we 
omit, show that the military budget of 1893 must be 
increased by nearly ;!^6,ooo,ooo. 

But it is by no means sufficient to take into account 
direct expenses alone ; the diminution of the revenue in 
consequence of a strained economic condition is no less 
grave. In addition to this the interest paid by states on 
loans concluded to saJtisfy military needs must be taken 
into account as one of the consequences of the permanent 
armaments of Europe. An attempt to present in figures 
these losses and expenditures would lead too far. We must 
confine ourselves to a short comparison of miUtary expen- 
diture as expressed in the budgets of different countries. 

First of all it is interesting to see the amounts 
which the Great Powers, that is, Prussia, Austria, Italy, 
Russia, France, and England, spent and spend yearly for 
the maintenance of their land and sea forces, the outlay of 
every thousand inhabitants, and the percentage of increase 
in twenty-two years. 


Maintenance of 
Armies and Navies. 

Burden on looo 

Increase per cent. 

taking 1874 as 

TOO per cent. 

1874 . • 
1884 . 

i8gi . 
1896 . 


£ s. 

432 3 

458 II 
530 II 
586 4 



The above table shows that military and naval expendi- 
ture develops ceaselessly, and since 1884 more rapidly 
than in preceding years. Thus vi^ar budgets grow not 
only proportionately with the increase of the population, 
but in a degree much greater. In 1874 every inhabitant 
of these countries paid eight shillings and eightpence ; in 
1 89 1 this figure had grown to ten shillings and sixpence, 
in 1896 almost to twelve shillings. 

The table opposite shows the increase in the expendi- 
ture on the creation and maintenance of armaments of each 
state separately. 

Increase per Cent, of Military Expenditure between 1874 and i8g6. 

From the above diagram we see that the greatest 
increase in the war budget in this period took place in 
Germany, after which Russia follows, then England, 
France, Italy and Austria. If we take the period 1874-91 
we will see that Germany most of all increased her arma- 
ments in the latter year, expending twice as much as 
seventeen years before. After her follows Italy, and then 
Russia, If we take the period 1874-84 we find Italy at 
the head, after her follow France, Germany, England and 
Austria. Russia in this period not only did not increase 
her war budget, but even diminished it by 4 per cent. It is 






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Austria . 
England . 
Russia . 
France . 





interesting and characteristic that in the very time when 
Russia's armaments were being decreased, Prince Bis- 
marck and his supporters attempted to spread throughout 
Germany and all Europe the idea that Russia was arming 
against Germany. It was this policy which induced the 
Reichsrath to consent to increased outlays on armaments, 
thus dragging all Europe deeper into the gulf of militarism. 
If we compare the two rival states of Central Europe, 
Germany and France, we will see that in 1874 France 
expended ;^6,450,ooo more than Germany, in 1884, 
^8,850,000 more, in 1891, ;,{;2,400,ooo less, and in 1896, 
;^2, 700,000 more than Germany. But general figures 
such as these give no clear idea of the increase of the 
burden on the population. 

It is necessary here to call attention to one circumstance. 
The expenditure cost of maintenance of soldiers constantly 
increases, in consequence of perfected technique, the 
greater knowledge required, and, at the same time, im- 
provement in food and quarters. From statistics showing 
the strength and cost of armies we have drawn up the 
following table showing the yearly cost of the main- 
tenance of a single soldier. 





Russia . 
France . 
Austria . 
England . 

I s. 

33 15 
37 10 

34 I 

£ s. 
26 5 

43 19 

44 8 
39 15 
88 19 

£ s. 
36 12 

43 19 
67 19 

45 18 
41 11 
81 3 

£ s. 
56 8 

44 II 
51 9 
35 17 
77 5 


40 I 

49 I 

52 17 

50 15 

Attempts have been made to estimate the comparative 
cost of maintenance of a cavalry soldier, an infantryman, 
and an artilleryman. From these calculations it appears 


that the cost of armament constitutes only a small per- 
centage of the general expenditure of maintenance. As 
the military value of every soldier depends largely upon 
the greater or less degree of perfection of his firearms, a 
natural consequence appears in the ceaseless endeavours 
of every state to improve upon the weapons of its rivals. 
From this rivalry springs one of the most important items 
of expenditure on armies. Naval forces demand even 
greater changes in armament. Old vessels have scarcely 
any fighting value, and can only be employed when the con- 
flict of newer types has resulted in mutual extermination. 

In order to give some idea of the vastness of the sums 
expended on fleets we quote some statistics as to the cost of 
the creation of the French fleet. The cost of the modern 
fleet of France, according to figures given in Engineering 
amounted to ;^29, 1 72,000 ; its actual modern value is 
;{^ 1 8, 5 3 8,000, to which must be added expenditure on 
artillery to a sum of ;^2, 11 3,666 13s. \d. Consequently 
we see that two-sevenths of the value of the French fleet 
is irrecoverably lost. 

The following table (p. 138) from the Rasvedtchik gives a 
detailed analysis of the expenditure of the Great Powers 
on armies and fleets in 1893. 

From this table may be seen the immense sums 
swallowed up in military preparations. But in addition 
to the ordinary expenditure on armies and fleets, the sum 
of which rises from ;^ 12,000,000 in Austria- Hungary to 
;^45,000,000 in Russia, every state makes extraordinary 
expenditure on the increase of its army and fleet. In 1893 
such outlay in Russia and France reached the sum of 
;^6,840,000 for the army, and in the Triple Alliance 
;^ 1 0,066,000. As concerns e.Ktraordinary outlay on fleets 
we have statistics only for Austria-Hungary and Germany; 
in 1893 these states expended ^2,254,000. These sums 
increase year by year. And they are by no means con- 
fined to the Great Powers. 

At the same time, and as an inevitable consequence, the 
essential requirements of the people remain unsatisfied. 
In Austria in i896,;^i3,500,000 were devoted to the army 










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and fleet, while only ;^2, 8 50,000, or 4^ times less was 
devoted to popular education. In Italy in the same year 
the expenditure on armaments was i^i 2,650,000, while 
;^ 1, 500,000, or eight times less, was spent upon education. 
In France ;^32,4oo,ooo are spent upon the army, and 
;^6,6oo,ooo, or a fifth part, on education generally. In 
Russia the army devours ;!^4 1,520,000, while education 
receives but ;^3, 540,000, that is, a little more than a 

These figures speak for themselves ; and give a plain 
indication of the degree of intellectual and moral culture 
we may expect from mankind when all its labour and 
strength are swallowed up in the creation and maintenance 
of armed forces. The United States in this respect have 
an infinitely better record. There all, from the children 
of the millionaire Vanderbilt down to the poorest peasant, 
attend the public schools, and receive elementary educa- 
tion. There knowledge for all is free and obligatory. 
The state makes it a duty to guard and maintain the 
popular schools. 

But expenditure on past wars, and on armaments in 
peace have but a secondary importance in determining 
the significance of modern armaments. It is more im- 
portant to estimate the expenditure which may be expected 
in a future war. 



The expenditure which the actual carrying on of war 
will demand can only be estimated approximately. But 
some consideration of this question is indispensable for 
the purposes of this work. 

It is useful to indicate some of those new conditions of 
modern warfare which will be the cause of immense 
expenditure. First of all, military stores must be drawn 
by every country from its own resources. This in 
itself is a circumstance which will tend greatly to increase 
the cost of war for individual states. The quick-firing 
rifle is a costly weapon, and the quantity of ammunition 
it will require cannot even be estimated. The same may 
be said concerning modern artillery and artillery ammuni- 
tion. The vastness of armies, and the deadliness of 
modern weapons, will immensely increase the require- 
ments of the sick and wounded. The preparations for 
sudden irruption upon an enemy's territory and destruc- 
tion of his communications, having in view the fact that 
local resources must quickly be exhausted, constitutes 
another factor which must be borne in mind. The 
demand for provisions must grow to an immense extent, 
corresponding, as it will, to the increase of armies ; and 
this will be followed by a great rise in prices. In the 
supply of these provisions each country must provide for 
itself. That an immense army cannot exist on the 
resources of an enemy's territory is plain, especially when 
the slowness of advance, in a struggle for fortified 
positions, is taken into account. A future war will not 


only involve the question of victory in the field, but also 
the problem of forcing the enemy into such a position as 
to render military operations on his part impossible, in 
consequence of the failure of supplies. As we have 
already explained, communications by sea will be 
interrupted at the very outbreak of war. In consequence 
of this those countries which do not grow sufficient corn 
for the support of their populations will be compelled to 
expend immense sums in obtaining food. In this respect, 
as we shall hereafter point out in detail, England is in 
incomparably the worst position. 

The increased demand for corn in time of war will, of 
course, cause an immense rise in prices. At a time when 
armies had but one-fifth of their present strength, and 
when there was no thought of the interruption of sea 
communications, the authority Stein estimated that the 
expenditure on provisioning an army would be three 
times greater in time of war than in time of peace. 
Another authority, S. N. Koti^, considers that even in 
Austria, which grows a superfluity of corn, the rise in 
prices consequent on war would amount to from 60 
per cent, to 100 per cent. But if war were to prove as 
prolonged as military authorities declare — that is, if it were 
to last for two years — the disorganisation of agriculture 
caused by the withdrawal from work of the majority of 
agriculturists, would raise the price of bread to an incon- 
ceivable height. 

There are serious reasons for doubting the proposition 
that a future war would be short. Thanks to railways, 
the period of preparatory operations would be consider- 
ably shortened, but in marches, manoeuvres, and battles, 
railways can be employed only in very rare cases, and 
as lines of operation they cannot serve. 

General Jung estimates that the mobilisation of the 
French army would require ;^ 12,000,000, and that the 
daily expenditure would grow from ;^6o,ooo in time of 
peace to ;^36o,ooo in time of war. 

The LAvcnir Militairc estimates the daily expenditure 
in time of war at the following totals : 



Italy . 


From detailed calculations, made on the basis of past 
wars, it appears that a war breaking out in 1896 would 
have cost daily : 

Germany (for an army of 2,550,000) . /"i, 020,000 
Austria ( ,, ,, 1,304,000) . 521,600 

Italy { „ :, 1,281,000) . 512,400 

Total for Triple Alliance . . . ;if 2,054,000 

France (for an army of 2,554,000) . ;f 1,021,600 

Russia ( ,, ,, 2,800,000) . . 1,120,000 

The following diagram represents this more clearly : 

Probable Daily Expenditure on a Future War in Millions of 


Thus it may be said that for five of the chief European 
states the daily expenditure in a future war would amount 
approximately to ;^4,200,000. In reality, however, this 
sum would probably be much higher. The provision- 
ing of armies would be carried out not only with stores 
obtained from the central commissariat, but also from 
local products. The extent to which such a circumstance 
raises local prices may be shown by the history of the 
Crimean war. In the Crimean peninsula the price of 
victuals during war rose 10, 15, 16, and even 25 times, 
hay i6§ times, and grain, milk, and wood from 5 to 9 
times ; the price of manufactured articles increased 2 and 3 
times, and transport from 5 to 7^ times. In the neigh- 
bouring southern governments prices were two and three 
times greater than in time of peace, and even in govern- 
ments distant from the seat of war they doubled themselves. 
To-day the employment of railways would somewhat 
relieve this condition, but it would be a mistake to assume 
that the whole provisioning of an army, and especially 
the supply of forage, could be carried on by means of 

The extraordinary expenditure caused by war will by 
no means be limited by these items. The following table, 
which is based on detailed calculations, shows the extent 
to which governments would be compelled to come to the 
assistance of families left without resources on the out- 
break of war : 


Germany (783,000 families) . . ;f78.300 
Austria (351,000 „ ) • • 21,060 
Italy (341,000 „ ) . . 20,460 

Totalfor Triple Alliance . ;f 119,820 

France (659,000 families) . . ^"52,720 
Russia (531,000 „ ) . • 25,488 

Total for Dual Alliance . ;^78,2o8 
The following diagram illustrates this more plainly 


Probable Daily Expenditure of Governments on the Assistance of 
the Families of Soldiers in Thousands of Francs. 


Probable Yearly Expenditure on War in Millions of Francs. 



For these five states the daily expenditure in assisting 
the resourceless part of the population would amount to 




























^^198,028. This sum cannot be considered exaggerated, 
considering the immense increase in the price of the neces- 
saries of life. This rise in prices, independently of the 



general economic crisis caused by war and interruption of 
communications, will tend towards the depreciation of 
paper money, to the increased issue of which governments 
will be compelled to resort in order to meet growing 

The amount which will be required by the Great Powers 
of the continent to carry on war for a year may be seen 
from the diagram at the bottom, of page 144. 

We may well ask the question — where will such re- 
sources be found ? Already militarism and public debts 
swallow up the greater part of the revenue of most Euro- 
pean states, as the diagram on page 145 shows. 

An examination of the foregoing statistics naturally 
raises the question. Will it be possible to raise resources 
so vastly exceeding the normal revenues of states ? And 
what results must we expect from such extraordinary 
tension ? 



I. — Effect of the Improvement in Firearms upon the 
Character of Wounds. 

The adoption of long-range artillery and quick-firing, 
small-calibre rifles with four times the energy of those 
employed in former wars, gives reason for fearing that 
not only the losses in battle will be incomparably greater 
than in the past, but also that the assistance of the 
wounded will be much more difficult. It is true that many 
authorities do not share these pessimistic views ; in their 
opinion the difference in the wounds caused by the old 
and the new weapons being in favour of the latter. The 
wounds inflicted by modern weapons, they say, will be more 
easily cured ; even when the wounded are left a long time 
without assistance the loss of blood will be small. The 
number of wounded will not be so great. According to 
this view the losses in future battles will be determined 
not alone by the power of arms, but also by those tactical 
methods which have been adopted as a consequence of 
the improvements in arms. As the result of perfected 
weapons, armies will seek or construct cover, and will 
attack in loose formation, while battles will be carried on 
at greater distances, all of which factors must tend to the 
decrease in the number of wounded. I-n addition to this, 
every soldier will be supplied with materials for dressing 
wounds, while blood-poisoning will be almost wholly 
eliminated, and the medical staffs of armies will be much 
stronger than before. Such are the opinions of optimists. 


It is interesting to consider the proportions and nature 
of wounds in past wars in comparison with those inflicted 
by the weapons now in use. 

Injuries from Cold Steel.— Yxsh&r estimates the pro- 
portion of wounds inflicted by cold steel in the war of 
1866 in the Austrian army at 4 per cent., and in the 
Prussian army at 5 per cent., of all wounds. In the war 
of 1870-71 the proportion of wounds caused by cold steel 
in the German army was i per cent. In the Russo- 
Turkish war the percentage of wounds inflicted by cold 
steel was 2.5 per cent, in the Russian army of the Danube. 
The percentage of deaths caused by cold steel is also very 
inconsiderable. In the last Russo-Turkish war, of the 
number killed in the army of the Danube only 5.3 per 
cent, of deaths were caused by cold steel, and in the army 
of the Caucasus barely i per cent. 

Injuries from Bullets and Shells. — The mutual relations 
of injuries by rifle and artillery fire, both as to quantity 
and nature, present different results in previous wars. In 
a future war the differences will be still greater. In the 
past the wounds from shell-fire were many times more 
dangerous than those caused by rifle bullets ; in the present 
day this would appear to have changed. The bullet of a 
modern rifle, weighing several grammes, has such force 
that it may strike five or six men, and cause even greater 
destruction than is caused by fragments of shells. The 
mutual relations of injuries from bullets and shells in a 
future war will depend from the manner in which the war 
is conducted— that is, whether it be determined chiefly by 
open battles or take the character of sieges. 

Since the adoption of rifled weapons we find that 
casualties have been caused mainly by bullets. Thus at 
the battle of Inkermann 91 per cent, of all wounds were 
inflicted by rifle fire. At the battle of the Tchernaya the 
proportion of wounds from rifle fire reached 75 per cent. 
Similar rusults took place in the Italian war, at Diippel 
and at Koniggratz. In the war of 1859, 80 per cent, of all 
wounds were caused by rifle fire, while at the storm of 
Diippel the proportion of bullet v;ounds among the 


Prussians was 80.6 per cent. The statistics given by 
Weygand concerning the Franco-Prussian war are as 
follows : Artillery fire was the cause of 25 per cent, of the 
losses of the French and 5 per cent, of the losses of the 
Germans, while rifle fire caused 70 per cent, of French and 
94 per cent, of German losses. 

Thanks to the introduction of smokeless powder, dimi- 
nution of calibres, and the covering of bullets with 
steel, the infantry rifle, of all arms the most important, has 
been so perfected that grave questioning has arisen 
concerning the losses in future war. Especial alarm has 
been caused by the increased penetrative power of the new 
composite bullet over that of the old. 

The following diagram illustrates the result of firing 
experiments from an 11 -mil. rifle. The shots were fired 
against fifteen folds of cowhide, 3.6 inches of hard beech- 
wood, and finally pine planks i inch thick, at a distance 
of 32^ feet from one another. 




3. Compound. 4, 5, 6. Hard leaden bullets. 

7, 8, 9. Soft bullets. 

From this we see that the penetrative force of the 
compound bullet is many times greater. It is generally 
accepted that a bullet which will penetrate an inch of pine 
has sufficient force to kill or wound a man or horse. 

But even here invention has not stopped. The sketch on 
page 150 shows the action of a 5.5-mil. bullet fired with an 
initial velocity of about 2600 feet against a 14-mil. steel 
plate. The force of this bullet was sufficient, from a 
distance of 8 1 ^ feet, to penetrate the plate, the bullet, on 
issuing from the plate taking the form of a mushroom. 



In view of the small diameter of bullets and the force 
with which they penetrate the body, the German surgeons 
Reger and Beck, and, to some extent, Bruns, consider that 
wounds from the new bullets will be less terrible than those 
caused by the old, in consequence of which they have given 
to these bullets the title " humane." In an address read 
in 1885 by Reger to the Berlin Military Medical Society, 

we find the following expression of opinion : '* I welcome 
the new bullet with great joy and believe that if it were 
generally adopted by international consent, all humanity 
would have cause to rejoice." Similar views have been 
expressed by Bruns, who considers that the new bullet is 
not only the most effective, but also the most humane, tend- 
ing to decrease the horrors of war. 

But it must not be supposed that these views were 
unanimously held. As far back as the Franco-German war 
we find that both combatants reproached one another with 
the employment of explosive bullets. The foundation for 


these accusations was the fact that ordinary bullet wounds 
often took the character of wounds caused by explosive 
bullets. A closer acquaintance with facts would have 
prevented these accusations. Numerous experiments 
which have been made show that bullets fired at great 
initial velocity (not less than 812I-975 feet) cause 
injuries similar to those caused by explosive bullets. 
Various attempts have been made to explain this cir- 
cumstance. The opinion most widely accepted is that 
an explosive effect is produced when the bullet falls in 
some organ rich in liquids, the liquids being cast on all 
sides with destructive action on the neighbouring tissues 
similar to that of an explosion. This theory is elaborated 
by Reger in particular. 

As modern rifles are immensely superior to those ot 
former times, both in range, accuracy and power, it would 
seem natural to expect a greater proportion of mortal 
wounds than before. If this be so, it is difficult to see 
how they deserve the title " humane." It must first of all 
be stated that against the immense force with which modern 
bullets move, the opposition of the human body has little 
power to arrest their movement. The experiments of 
Bruns in which a bullet fired from a distance of 2600-3900 
feet penetrated 2-3 human corpses one behind the other, 
and fired from a distance of 400 metres penetrated 4-5 
bodies, even the strongest bones of the human body being 
shattered, have not only been confirmed but strengthened 
by later investigations, which showed that at any distance 
up to 6500 feet the penetrating force of a composite 
bullet was sufficient to pierce several bones. 

The absolute number of wounded in war, even with an 
equal number of combatants, must be incomparably greater 
than before. The causes of this are obvious : the increased 
quantity of ammunition expended per man, rapidity ot hre, 
increased range, greater accuracy, smokeless POwder and 
greater penetrative force, thanks to which many forms of 
cover, formerly effectually protecting the soldier will be of 

""^ProSsor Bardeleben draws a melancholy picture of the 


action of the new weapons. He agrees that the number 
of wounded in the course of a given time will increase, 
not only because the magazine rifle allows the discharge 
of many more bullets than formerly, but because one bullet 
will strike three or four men, one behind the other, it may 
be even more. On the other hand, he finds that the pro- 
portion of killed on the field of battle will increase in con- 
sequence of the increased force of the blow. Fired from a 
distance at which the old bullet was stopped by the skull 
or the ribs, the modern bullet will penetrate to the brain 
and heart. 

The sketches of Bircher (opposite page) give some idea 
of the effect of fire at long range. These experiments were 
carried on in Switzerland with the 7.5-mil. bullet at a 
distance of 9750 feet and 1 1,375 f'sct. 

Such shattering of the bones at a distance of 9750 feet 
and 1 1,375 fc^t will be comparatively rare. In the zone of 
actual fire cases of shattered bones will be more frequent 
and more serious ; and the mortality will be greater in 
consequence of greater loss of blood resulting from direct 
injury to the blood-vessels. 

As relates to the wounds caused by artillery fire, as a 
great part of these wounds will be caused by the frag- 
ments and bullets of shrapnel, it may be assumed that the 
injuries they inflict will differ little from those inflicted in 
past wars. 

II. — Help to the Wounded. 

Not only may we expect that the quantity of wounds 
and sickness will increase in future wars, but the assist- 
ance of the wounded and sick will be much more difficult 
than in the past. It must be noted that this side of the 
question has received little attention. The whole atten- 
tion of specialists has been bent upon the increase of the 
deadliness of weapons of extermination, and upon the 
strengthening of armies. The chief physician of the 
Bavarian army, Forth, calls attention to this fact, and 
declares that the German strategists in the race after 


SO -" 


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perfection of weapons of extermination, have left behind 
them all plans for the amelioration of the lot of the 
wounded in war. Indeed, they go even further, and 
refuse to grant resources for the perfection of the medical 
organisation, thinking that such a course would hinder 
military operations. Meantime, the modern weapons will 
cause wounds requiring, if anything, more rapid aid to the 
wounded than those inflicted by the old type. 

In recent wars provision for the wounded generally 
proved inadequate. Even in the war of 1870 it was 
impossible to make arrangements for ambulances as 
easily as formerly. " Bullets and shells," says Pigorof, 
" carried much farther than before ; it was difficult to find 
a safe spot in the vicinity of the field of battle, and such a 
position once found was quickly rendered untenable by 
the rapid movements of the armies. Another element of 
difficulty lies in the fact that all stations for dressing 
wounds in modern wars are quickly overcrowded owing 
to the rapidity of fire, whole files being stricken down at 
the same time ; in consequence there is no possibility of 
avoiding terrible overcrowding in the ambulances if the 
wounded are not sent off" the field at once. 

" After the battle of Weissenburg the wounded French 
lay two days upon the field. In the village of Remilie lay 
some thousands of men wounded at Gravelotte, brought 
thither in two days and two nights in peasants' carts, and, 
to attend to these thousands of wounded (nearly 10,000) 
during the first few days only four doctors were avail- 
able." Similar was the experience after other battles of 
this war. Pigorof continues : " The wounded remaining 
after battle were named by our old servant ' garbage and 
bits,' and there they all lay, garbage and bits, scattered 
over the battlefield till some one lifted them up and bore 
them away. The rapidity and accuracy of modern fire 
are such that whole files fall together, and the accumula- 
tion of wounded in a very short time is immense." 

No better was the state of affairs in the war of i^yy-J^. 
Professor Botkin says that the wounded remained not only 
without medical aid, but even without water for days, and 


all this thanks to the fact that no one had thought of this 
matter in time. The position of the wounded in hospital 
was also unsatisfactory. In a memorandum of the Chief 
Controller we find it plainly stated that the military 
hospitals, both in the Caucasus and in Bulgaria, were 
characterised by great defects, especially when compared 
with the institutions opened by the Red Cross Society, and 
at the expense of private individuals. The temporary 
military hospitals were supplied by the commissariat with 
inferior stores, and the medicine-chests were lacking in 
some of the most necessary remedies. The supply of the 
hospitals was carried on unpunctually, and sometimes 
resulted in a lack of medical attendance. These defi- 
ciencies were especially felt in the time of the outbreak of 
typhus at the close of the war. 

The chief representative of the Red Cross Society, Mr. 
P. A. Richter, writes in his report as follows : " Of what 
were the military hospitals in need ? It would be easier 
to answer this question if it were reversed, and it were 
necessary to enumerate not those things which they 
wanted, but those with which they were fully supplied." 
Again he says : " The shortsightedness and inactivity of 
the military administration in this case cannot be placed 
to the account of the hospitals themselves." Among other 
things, Richter complains bitterly of the absence of 

All society is anxious to know that such events should 
not be repeated in a future war. It is interesting to see 
what improvements have been made in this department 
of military administration. 

Let us take France as an example. In 1870 France 
committed the unpardonable sin of considering herself 
ready for war. In the present day we also hear complaint 
as to the possible failure of arrangements to fulfil in 
practice what has been claimed for them. When in 
1 88 1 General Farre was questioned as to the sending of 
dressing materials for the Algiers and Tunis armies he 
replied : '* Our ambulances will in no respect show 
deficiencies." In reality it was shown that in this 


respect nothing was ready. Notwithstanding the fact that 
all the necessary material was bought with a liberal hand, 
it did not reach its destination. It even appears that in 
Kef (May 1881) after numberless vain applicatio"ns 
the officers were obliged to raise a subscription among 
themselves for the purchase of sugar, wine, and coffee 
for the sick in the improvised ambulances. In Grardi- 
may in May 1891 the wo-mded and sick of General 
Lozhero's column awaited for twenty days the arrival of 
material from the regular ambulance. In Gulletta in May 
and June 1881 the sick officers were compelled to live at 
their own expense in the wretched coffee-houses of the 
town ; and on the whole extent of coast from Gulletta to 
Philippeville the ambulances and hospitals were over- 
crowded to such an extent that by August no more could 
be admitted, and the sick from Gulletta had to be sent 
down to the coast and set on board ship, until finally they 
were again brought to Philippeville. At Pont de Fahs in 
October 1881, 4000 sick men of Filbert's brigade, finding 
themselves left to the care of a single doctor, were com- 
pelled, owing to the absence of transport, to await the 
arrival of the wretched waggons hired from the natives in 
order to bring them to Tunis. 

The state of affairs in the Italian army in the Abys- 
sinian war was no better. 

There is reason for turning attention to the aid of the 
wounded and sick, the more so since the new weapons have 
made the position of affairs infinitely worse ; increase in 
the number of wounded will increase proportionately the 
difficulties of the ambulance corps ; the time for its opera- 
tions is diminished, thanks to the greater accuracy, 
rapidity, and range of fire which sometimes must make it 
impossible to carry off the wounded and grant them first 
aid ; while there is an inevitable loss of working force 
caused by greater distance of the dressing stations from 
the fighting line which the immense range of modern 
fire-arms must involve. 

One of the mosr celebrated surgeons of the century, 
Professor Bilroth, declared that in order to give full assist- 


ance to the wounded, the sanitary corps must be equal in 
strength to the combatants. This is in no way an exag- 
geration, but merely expresses the fact that with the 
modern conditions of war, and the probable great length 
of battles, it will be almost impossible fully, immediately, 
and satisfactorily to give medical assistance to the 
wounded. The very work of removing the wounded 
must be carried on under fire, and will be extremely 
difficult. The ambulance servant must pick his way with 
his burden, bending down to avoid the shots if both he 
and the wounded man he bears are not to be killed. The 
work of collecting the wounded will be made even more 
difficult by the fact that they must be sought for in the 
covered positions where they lie. And delay in the carry- 
ing off of the wounded means an increased percentage 
of deaths, not only from loss of blood but even from 

In a time when rifle and artillery fire were beyond com- 
parison weaker than they are now, those who were left 
unhelped on the battlefield might hope for safety. But 
now, when the whole field of battle is covered with an 
uninterrupted hail of bullets and fragments of shells, there 
is little place for such hope. But even here the list 
of terrors of a future war does not cease. 

The Bavarian Chief Military Physician Forth calls 
attention to yet another danger which may threaten the 
wounded. After the battle of Worth he set out with his 
assistants to aid the wounded, and came across a great 
number of Turcos who needed assistance. After this, on 
entering a wood he came across great walls of corpses 
lying across the road. The lower parts of these walls of 
corpses were constructed regularly, while the upper parts 
were formed of corpses lying in disorder. These last, 
apparently, were corpses of soldiers struck by bullets 
after the wall had been built. Forth examined the corpses 
carefully in order to see if any living men were among 
them, but found that all were dead. " This will easily be 
understood," observes Dr. Forth, " as the weight of those 
on top and fresh bullets had finally killed off any who had 


been placed there alive." Forth supposes that such walls 
of corpses will also be raised in a future war. Trenches 
constructed in haste have not any connecting passages 
behind, so that the reinforcements sent to the front will 
have to pass an exposed space, and hastily jumping into 
the trenches may cause injuries to the wounded already 
lying there. When the trenches shall have become en- 
cumbered with dead or those considered as dead, it will 
be necessary to throw these out ; they cannot be thrown 
out behind, since such a course would result in impeding 
the path of reinforcements ; they will be placed of neces- 
sity, in front of the trench, that is, on the side of the 
enemy, thus forming a breastwork. " To be cast there 
alive," adds Dr. Forth, " will be the best of fates, for a new 
bullet will shortly end all sufferings, while those wounded 
who are left lying in the trenches will suffer long." 

It is plain that the introduction of long-range rifles, the 
improvement of artillery, the immense increase in the 
strength of armies, and finally, changes in the rules of 
war, demand the introduction of radical reforms in the 
methods of assisting the wounded on the field of battle. 
For the benefit of the ambulance service, it would be 
absolutely necessary to give independence to the authority 
to which is subject both official and voluntary organisa- 
tions for aiding the wounded. 

Without voluntary co-operation, without public partici- 
pation in time of war, it would be impossible to manage, 
but this participation must be regulated in good time. In 
Russia it is especially necessary to constitute committees 
with authority: (i) Over the hospitals; (2) over the 
supply of medical stores ; (3) over the transport of the 
sick and wounded ; (4) over the equipment of the hos- 
pitals with domestic necessaries. The rational organisa- 
tion of such a committee would result in immenee benefit. 

We will quote here some more evidence as to the neces- 
sity for improvement. Writing of the Russo-Turkish 
war, Pigorof says : " In the end of September, on our 
inspection of the hospitals we came across hundreds of 
cases of frost-bitten feet, and in answer to our inquiries 


found that alnost all ascribed their sufferings to wet boots, 
which for a long time had been worn without taking 
off. If valenki (felt over-boots) had been given only to 
half the men in a company it would have saved many from 
frost-bites, as it would have been possible for the soldiers 
to take off their boots and dry them." 

Those who control the lot of soldiers must remember 
that although a large increase in the ambulance service 
would result apparently in a loss of fighting strength, in 
reality it would directly result in strengthening the fight- 
ing forces by increasing the percentage of sick and wounded 
who would return to the front, by diminishing the mor- 
tality and by, raising the spirits of soldiers in consequence 
of the conviction that care would be taken of the victims. 

And in the present time, when in a battle between the 
armed forces of Europe, the mechanism of destruction is 
so perfect that shells may be thrown with unexampled 
rapidity to unheard-of distances, creating on every field 
a vast area of absolute destruction ; when owing to power 
of fire attacks can only be made in loose formation, 
and every soldier may shirk the battle — the spirit of 
armies has a much greater importance than before. 


PART 11 




In order to understand the economic and social conse- 
quences which would follow a war in which Russia was 
engaged, it is necessary to consider the degree of well- 
being of the population, and the amount of its income ; 
and to explain how war will shorten the demand for certain 
products and increase the demand for others ; lessen the 
exports, and deprive a considerable portion of the popula- 
tion of their means of livelihood. In considering ** Plans 
of Military Operations " in a struggle between the two 
great continental alliances we attempted to make some 
comparison of the endurability of the states engaged 
against the destructive influences of war. The conclusions 
which sprang from a general consideration of military 
plans were in accord with the following proposition of 
General Brialmont, that " the state to which war is least 
dangerous is Russia, guaranteed as she is by the immen- 
sity of her territories, the character of her soil and climate, 
and still more, by the social condition of her people, occu- 
pied for the greater part by agriculture." Rich in men, in 
horses, and in food, having many industrial and trading 
centres, accustomed for a century to the circulation of 
paper money, Russia is in a state to keep up a defensive 
war for some years, which the Western and Southern 
powers, standing on a high degree of culture, but producing 
insufficient food for their populations, could not do. These 
rather would be threatened with ruin and even disintegra- 
tion. The strategical superiority of Russia lies in the fact 
that the occupation by an enemy of all her frontier terri- 


tories would not produce a decisive result. Even the 
taking of both her capitals, and the defeat of all her ready 
forces, would not deprive her of the means of resistance, 
whereas any Western state in such circumstances would 
be decisively crushed. Such are the general conclusions 
to which a consideration of the plans of attack on Russia, 
formulated by foreign authorities, have led. 

But in considering the effect of war on the condition of 
the people in Russia, we are compelled to glance more 
closely than will be necessary in the case of other states, 
if only for the reason that the enormous extent of Russia, 
and the immense reserve of men for the formation of new 
armies — that is, the two unquestioned elements of Russian 
superiority — are likely to inspire far too optimistic hopes. 
In the opinion of foreigners, military specialists in Russia 
in this respect are liable to exaggeration, forgetting that in 
Russia as elsewhere war would be felt intensely, and, in 
certain respects, even more disastrously, on the finances 
and on the general economic condition of the country. 

It would be a mistake to think that these exaggerated 
views are current in all military circles in Russia. But it 
must be admitted that the very strength of Russia, her 
richness in territory and in men, affords a basis to 
certain minds for very natural exaggeration. That such 
exaggerations have their dangerous side is unquestioned 
by every impartial student of history, from which we learn 
that exaggeration has led, if not directly to military enter- 
prises, at least to more decisive actions which easily awaken 
the dangers of war. 

Unfortunately, the difficulty of a detailed investigation 
of the present condition of Russia and the future conse- 
quences which a war would entail for her, is very great, 
owing to the absence of those exhaustive statistics which 
are everywhere available in Western Europe, in America, 
and especially in England. In Russia the compiling of 
statistics began only in the reign of Nicholas I. But that 
reign, based solely on military-bureaucratic principles, did 
not look with favourable eyes on the publication of official 
statistics. Co-operation or advice from the side of society in 


general was not only not looked for, but not even admitted, 
and the need for communicating to the public statistics on 
which judgment might be based was consequently ignored. 
Figures were a secret of state, concealed sometimes even 
from the Council of State itself. It was only in later years 
that statistics became available to the student. 

I. — Fall in the Funds and Influence of War on 
THE Finances. 

In order to determine the economic durability of Russia 
against the influences of war, we arc compelled to consider 
two contingencies, that is, a war carried on with the aim of 
invasion of an enemy's territory, and a war carried on with 
the object of repulsing attack, and, in the latter case also, to 
consider what forces Russia would dispose of if, after the 
repulse of the attack, she decided to undertake a counter- 
invasion of the territories of the enemy. First of all, of 
course, it is necessary to consider the perturbations which 
must be produced immediately after the declaration of 
war. Whatever might be the causes of war, it may be 
assumed, that mobilisation would be accepted as something 
inevitable, and the possibilities of difficulty which might 
arise in Western states if war were declared in defiance of 
popular feeling, in Russia need not be considered. 

The immense majority of the soldiers mobiUsed will 
consist of peasant-agriculturists, men of simple minds, 
uninterested in political questions. The educated soldiers 
will be mainly officers, who will also, without question, 
obey orders, and easily assimilate official declarations as 
to the unavoidability of war. The number of soldiers 
taken from trade and industry in Russia will be compara- 
tively small. But it is unquestioned that among the 
Russian soldiers belonging to this category, perturbations 
may be called forth even more serious than those which 
will arise in Western states. The systems of agriculture, 
industry, and of trade in Russia are less elaborate 
than in Western countries. Owing to the absence of 
educational institutions the knowledge and morale in 


trade and industry are low ; the women of Russia, whom, 
of course, mobihsation will not directly affect, are little 
engaged in business; and therefore it will be more 
difficult to replace the directing forces summoned under 
the flag than it would be in the West. 

Of the difficulty of satisfying demands for money for 
the mobilisation of the army we have already spoken. 
Here it is only necessary, in view of the possible occu- 
pation by an enemy of Russian territory, to set out the 
distribution of the revenue, &c., over the different parts 
of the Empire — in one word, to present a financial 
physiological picture of Russia in the present day. 

It needs no evidence to show that the perturbations 
which a future war will cause in the sphere of finance 
will be incomparably more serious than those caused by 
the war of 1877. The finances of Russia are distinguished 
by the fact that even in times of peace the course of 
Government securities and paper money is most variable. 
In a memorandum presented to the Emperor Alexander III. 
in 1882, M. N. H. Bunge thus defined the causes of 
these fluctuations (in addition to the main reason — 
unhmited issue), (i) The internal political position of 
the State, the danger of risings, anarchy, the absence of 
settled political programmes. (2) The internal economic 
condition of the country, famines, crises in industrial, 
commercial, and banking circles, caused by dishonesty, 
speculation, and failures, and so forth. (3) The general 
financial position, disproportion between revenue and 
expenditure, financial extravagance, deficits, and so forth. 
Independently of these internal elements are others — for 
instance, the danger that the state may be drawn into a 
great European war, and the risk of military failure. 

Such is a judgment formulated in 1882. Since then 
fifteen years have passed, and in that period the position 
has improved in many ways, but not enough to guarantee, 
in the event of war, that the description quoted above 
would not again apply in full force. 

We have seen that in 1870 the Prussian state and 
municipal loans were depreciated 25 per cent., and 


banking, industrial, and railway shares 35 per cent. In 
1877 the value of the Russian credit rouble (100 kopecks) 
fell to 56J kopecks metal. 

Thanks to the arrangements of the present Ministry of 
Finances, statistics are yearly printed as to the value of 
the Government securities and the manner in which they 
are distributed. From these statistics it appears that on 
January i, 1896, there existed of such securities: 

Metallic . . 2249 millions of roubles* (/■337,35o,ooo) 
Credit . . . 333° „ .. (A49.5oo,ooo) 

In all . 5579 .. " (/"ySejSscooo) 

Of these in cash, in treasuries, and in banking institu- 
tions the amount of such securities was : 

Metallic . . 210 millions of roubles (/'3T, 500,000) 

Credit . . . 2293 „ „ (£343.950,ooo) 

Thus it appears that there were in circulation, partly 
among private individuals in Russia, but for the greater 
oart abroad : 

Metallic Loans . 2039 millions of roubles (/■305.850.000) 
Credit Loans . 1037 „ „ (; 

Now if we take the depreciation in time of war of 
securities guaranteed by the Government at 25 per cent., 
and of other securities at 35 per cent., which depreciation 
has already been experienced in the wars of 1870 and 
1877, the immense economic perturbation which would be 
caused by war will be at once made plain. A deprecia- 
tion of 25 per cent, of the nominal value of Government 
securities would amount to 52,000,000 of metallic and 
573,000,000 credit roubles (;^7,8oo,ooo and ;^85,950,OOo) ; 
a depreciation of 35 per cent, on the nominal value of 
securities unguaranteed by the Government would amount 
to 48,000,000 metallic roubles, and 404,000,000 credit 
roubles (;^7, 200,000 and ;^6o,6oo,ooo). Thus war would 

* The rouble is taken as equivalent to its fage value of 3s. 


at once cause a depreciation of securities held within the 
country of 1,100,000,000 roubles (;^ 16 5, 000,000). 

Depreciation of Securities circulating in Russia at the Outbreak 
of War in Millions of Roubles. 






= 41 .« 





T "r X , , i 






Metal ::J 48 

I Jl 


Credit ::::;:::::::: 

All this leads to the conclusion that in the beginning of 
war there cannot even be thought of the issue of new 
loans, and therefore war can only be carried on by the 
immense issue of credit notes, the unavoidable conse- 
quence of which will be to shake to its foundations the 
financial condition of the country. 

The position in which Russia found herself in the war 
of 18 12-18 1 5 is so different from modern conditions that 
to draw practical lessons from the experiences of that 
time is impossible. The extraordinary outlays caused by 
the Crimean war amounted to about i^ milliard of 
roubles (^225,000,000), which led to an immense increase 
of indebtedness and to a fall in the value of the credit 
rouble, although war was carried on only at one extremity 
of the country, and the whole of the western frontier 
remained open to trade. 

In the Turkish war of 1877-78 the extraordinary outlay 
amounted to 

In 1876 
., 1877 
„ 1878 

M 1879 
., 1880 

50,998,114 roubles 
429,328,089 „ 
408,142,970 „ 
132,100,316 „ 

54,818,163 „ 



(/■7.649-7I7 2S.) 

(;f64,399.2T3 7s.) 

(/"61, 22 1, 445 lOS.) 

(/'i9,8i 5,047 8s.) 

{£8,222,724 gs.) 

(;^i6i,3o8,i67 Ids.) 


What may be expected from a future war ? First of all 
it must be noted that the new military organisation of 
Russia, founded on conscription and short service, not 
only has not diminished, but on the contrary has increased 
the ordinary military expenditure. The expenditure of 
the Ministry of War in the course of the twenty years 
period, 1875 to 1894, increased from 175,000,000 roubles 
(;^26, 2 50,000) to 239,000,000 roubles (;^ 3 5,850,000). The 
cause of this increase lies partly in the increased number 
of the army, and partly in the better treatment of the 
soldiers, as is seen from the following figures indicating 
the cost of maintenance of a single soldier : 

1874 .... 225 roubles (£33 15s.) 

1884 .... 175 .. i£~^ 55.) 

1891 .... 244 „ (£36 12s.) 
1896 .... 376 .. {£5^ 8s.) 

Of the proportion of expenditure by one inhabitant on 
army and fleet, estimated according to geographical position, 
the chart on page 170 gives a clear idea. A glance at this 
chart will show that the satisfaction out of the ordinary 
revenues of the requirements of the budget in time of war 
will be all the more difficult since the revenue will be 
diminished, while the expenditure on popular needs is so 
small that its diminution in time of war will be almost 

Russia, with a mobilised army of 2,800,000 men, will 
daily need for their maintenance and equipment 7,000,000 
roubles (^1,050,000). In addition to this, considerable 
sums will be needed for the maintenance of families of 
soldiers on service. The greater the number of married 
soldiers the greater will be the need for aid. But, as is 
hereafter shown, the number of married persons and 
children in proportion to the general population is greater 
in Russia than elsewhere, from which it appears that the 
expenditure in this respect must be greater. 

It is true that Russia will find an advantage in the fact 
that the proportion of soldiers withdrawn from industry is 
insignificant when compared with the proportion in other 
countries, for in Russia about 86 per cent, of the number 























































summoned to the colours will belong to the agricultural 
class. This circumstance is particularly favourable for 
Russia, as the agriculturist will leave behind him 
members of his family who can continue his labour, 
and such families will not be threatened by a complete 
cessation of work. But on the other hand, the Russian 
agricultural population, which even in times of peace lives 
in extreme poverty, will soon exhaust its resources, and 
the Government will be compelled to come to its aid. 
By exhaustive examination of the comparative degrees of 
well-being of the persons engaged in different occupations, 
it would be shown that Government will be compelled to 
assist the families of not less than one quarter of the soldiers 
engaged in agriculture, of less than half of the small traders 
and clerks, and of 10 per cent, of the free professions. 
Detailed calculations show that these number 531,000 
families in all. All of which shows that the expenditure 
in time of war will be immense and immediate, while to 
cover it by new taxation or by the increase of old taxes 
will be impossible. Popular savings, which might be taken 
advantage of for loans, are in Russia extremely small, and 
it is very probable that in order to cover the ordinary 
expenditure in time of war, not to speak of extraordinary 
expenditure, the chief resource must inevitably be the 
issue of credit notes. In the time of the wars of 18 12, 
1857 and 1877, although financial crises occurred owing to 
the increased issue of assignat and credit notes, these 
crises were not of such a nature as to influence the con- 
tinuance of military operations. In all probability a future 
war will resemble the past in this respect. 

During the last war with Turkey the value of the rouble 
credit note was depreciated to 55^ kopecks, and that this 
depreciation was not greater must be ascribed to exception- 
ally favourable circumstances. On the one hand, Russia 
possessed a large reserve of corn, and on the other, in 
consequence of scarcity abroad, the prices of corn, the 
chief article of export from Russia, and many other articles 
of food, rose considerably, thus increasing the export of 
Russian products. 


In the second chapter of this work we attempted to 
show the advantages which a defensive war promised to 
Russia, a defence which, after exhaustion and disorgani- 
sation of the enemy's resources, might transform itself 
into attack. But in the economic relation such a war 
would have the disadvantage that the country would be 
compelled to support the armies of the invader in addition 
to its own. We showed that it is impossible to avoid the 
conclusion that a defensive war would result in victory for 
Russia. But this cannot alter the fact that the sacrifices 
which the people must sustain would be incalculably great. 

In order to be persuaded of this, it is not enough to 
consider only those perturbations the immediate conse- 
quence of war, but to examine also, although briefly, the 
economic and moral condition of the country. 

II. — Economic Upheaval in consequence of the 
Interruption of Trade. 

On the declaration of war, the external European trade 
of Russia will immediately cease. The losses which this 
will cause must be considered. The average Russian 
export and import for the six years 1889-94 are shown 
thus in millions of credit roubles : 


Russian Statistics. 

585 (;^87,750,ooo) 
399 (;f59.85o,ooo) 

Foreign Statistics. 
783 (;Cl 17.450.000) 

237 (;f35.55o,ooo) 

Let us present this graphically : 

Average Export and Import, 1889-1894, in Millions of Credit 
Export Import 



According to 
Russian statistics 

Accordinc to 



Foreign statistics 






If these totals are distributed among the population we 
will find the following export and import for one inhabitant : 



Per cent, rela- 
tion of Export 
to Import. 





(lOS. 6frf.) 




{6s. lid.) 

(8s. 7^d.) 


Of the four great groups under which the foreign trade 
of Russia may be classified, in export trade provisions 
predominate (57 per cent.), after which follow raw and 
half-dressed materials (^y^ per cent.), manufactures 
(si per cent.), and animals (2^ per cent.). In imports 
predominate raw and half-dressed materials (58^ percent)., 
after which follow manufactures (2i| per cent.), provisions 
(20 per cent.), and animals (^ per cent.). 

In the number of Russian exported provisions the first 
place, of course, is taken by grain, the export of which, 
although with fluctuations, constantly increases, and in 
1894 had risen to 640,000,000 poods* (205,714,295 cwts.), 
or 5^ poods (192 lbs.) per inhabitant. The following table 
illustrates with more detail the nature of this export : 

Millions of Poods(English Equivalent in millions of lbs.) 






1893-94 • 










(1 1 88) 

1894-95 • 











1895-96 . 









* A pood is really equal to 36.1127 lbs., but for purposes of our 
equivalents we take it as equal to 36 lbs. 


We find that the average harvest of corn for the whole 

world, taking a twelve years period, was 3,294,000,000 
poods (1,058,800,000 cwts.), while the harvest of 

1893 was 3,427,000,000 poods (1,101,535,715 cwts.) 

1894 ,, 3,503,000,000 ,, (1,126,000,000 „ ) 

1895 „ 3,385,000,000 ,, (1,088,035,715 „ ) 

By investigations lately made it has been shown that in 
twelve years the yearly quantity of grain harvested in 
Russia increased by 150,000,000 poods (48,214,300 cwts.), 
and the area of sowing by 5 per cent., while the population 
in that period increased by 11 per cent. This may be 
expressed in another form : the yearly increase of demand 
in consequence of the growth of the population amounts to 
40,000,000 poods ( 1 3,000,000 cwts.), ten years 400,000,000 
poods (130,000,000 cwts.), while in that period the 
production of grain increased by 150,000,000 poods 
(48,214,300 cwts.). 

But the export from Russia is composed only of that 
part of the harvest which remains free after the satisfaction 
of the minimum requirements of the population : 


English Equivalent in Millions of lbs. 

Percentage of 

Export to Average 


Average Yearly 
Harvest in Millions 
of Poods, 1890-94. 

Average Export. 

Rye . 

Wheat . 









10. 1 







Let us present these figures graphically : 

Percentage of Export to Production in 1890-1894. 



In the chart on page 176 we give some figures as to the 
production of all grains. But these figures give no suffi- 
cient material for determining the influence which war 
would produce on the trade in corn. This influence will 
depend upon in whose hands the superfluity of corn rests, 
whether in the hands of private proprietors or in the hands 
of the peasants. Among the immense majority of larger 
agriculturists the superfluity is very considerable, while 
the products of the peasants serve mainly to satisfy their 
own needs. 

It is obvious that private proprietors may bear the strain 
better than the peasants. If the export of grain be only 
shortened the first will be able to dispose of their grain by 
such routes as remain open. But if the export of grain 
entirely cease and prices in the internal market con- 
siderably fall, certain landowners will sustain the crisis by 
means of their reserve of capital, while those whose estates 
are mortgaged would in case of war take advantage of the 
inevitable postponement of payments into bank, and in 
addition to that of the loans of the Imperial Bank. The 
peasants will have no auxiliary resources ; and in the 




















.2 '^ 




= o 






majority of cases the corn they raise is insufficient for 
their needs, for the payment of taxes, rent on leasehold 
land, the purchase of implements, salt, and clothing. The 
income of the peasantry arises partly from the sale of 
corn, and partly from auxiliary work, of which some — for 
instance, temporary work in factories — in time of war, 
must undergo diminution. This last circumstance will 
react in terrible form on the condition of the country 

With the cessation of export, too, the demand for 
corn will decrease, with a consequent fall in prices, and 
diminution in the income both of landowners and 
peasants. Fluctuations in prices will arise, since the 
standard is determined by the export, which will be 
interrupted. Increased purchases for the army may to 
some extent compensate for the stoppage of export. 
But the supplying of the army with bread will be ex- 
tremely difficult when the rolling-stock of the railways 
is occupied with the transport of troops and munitions 
of war. 

The remaining articles of export from Russia mainly 
belong to the category of raw or half-dressed materials — 
seeds, flax, hemp, timber, bristles, wool ; these products, 
together with grain, constitute 80 per cent, of the whole 
export. The cessation of the export of these goods will 
result in confusion similar to that caused by the cessation 
of the export of grain. 

The imports of Russia are of a nature much more 
varied than the exports. Russia buys abroad not only 
finished products, such as machinery and metallic wares, 
but also raw materials, cotton, wool, silk, pig-iron, 
iron, steel, coal, and paper. But the most considerable 
part of her imports consists of tea, coffee, and colonial 
products, wine, and other drinks. In the " Review of 
the External Trade of Russia," exports and imports are 
classified in four groups: (i) provisions; (2) raw and 
half-worked materials ; (3) animals ; (4) manufactured 









Provisions . 

Raw and half-worked 

Manufactured articles 













But such a classification gives no clear idea of the 
influences which would reveal themselves on the interrup- 
tion of foreign trade. The following classification under pro- 
visions, clothing, agricultural implements,buildingmaterials, 
manufactured products, intellectual, various, gives a better 
idea : 

Imports into Russia in Millions of Roubles in 1889, 


Clothing .... 

Instruments of husbandry 

Building materials . 

Manufactured products . 


Various .... 

56.6 (;f8,490,ooo) 
150.2 (;r22, 530,000) 

13.2 (/" 
72.1 (;^io,8i5,ooo) 

71.3 (;f 1 0,695,000) 
6.2 (;^930,ooo) 
I '9 (Z"285,ooo) 

Classification 0/ Imports — Raw, Half-ivorked, and Manufactured. 




WO 7o 


The first consequence of the interruption of external 
communications will be a considerable fall in the price of 
corn and other chief articles of export, and a rise in 
the price of articles of import, more particularly of 
those of which large stores are not in the hands of 

From the interruption of export will result a consider- 
able decrease in the railway traffic, and in consequence, 
as the majority of railways belong to the crown or are 
guaranteed by it, the state will sustain a loss of revenue ; 
while, on the other hand, the railways, especially those 
going westward, at the outbreak of the war will be 
entirely, and afterwards to a considerable extent, occu- 
pied in the transport of troops and munitions of war. 
Great difficulties would arise from this circumstance were 
it not for the fact that transport by water has been so 
developed that upon the stoppage of export it will be 
able to satisfy almost all internal needs. The interruption 
of export abroad, the fall of prices, irregular supply, and 
great local fluctuations — such are the factors which will 
strongly influence the course of trade. It is difficult even 
to foresee what form they will take, and by what influences 
prices will be determined. When internal competition 
remains the only factor in determining prices, those dis- 
tricts will be in the best position where competition is 
most highly developed, as is the case in the western, 
southern, and metropolitan governments, and in the worst 
position those districts where monopoly obtains. As 
relates to the number of traders, it will be found that 
Russia is in a less advantageous position than the western 
states. Thus we find that while out of 10,000 inhabitants 
in Belgium 437 are engaged in trade, in France 429, in 
Germany 347, and in Austria 164, in Russia only Qj 
are thus occupied. 

From the following statistics (pp. 180-181) it will be 
seen that at a time when the interruption of communica- 
tions by a great war would cause famine and even social 
convulsions in all western states with the exception of 
Austria, in Russia the danger will be much less, but 





nevertheless will be expressed in a considerable decrease 
in the income of the population, and in a difficult position 
of trade. 

III. — Manufacturing Crisis in Time of War. 

On the manufactures and industries of Russia a great 
European war cannot fail to react seriously in many 
respects. The interruption of communications with the 
West will mean a cessation of the supply of raw materials. 
Thus the supply of American, Egyptian, and Indian cotton 
will be stopped. The withdrawal from work of mechanics 
and experienced workmen will be a factor of great diffi- 
culty. The sale of manufactured articles will decrease, 
firstly, in consequence of the difficulty of transport on 
railways already occupied for military purposes, and, 
secondly, in consequence of a decreased demand resulting 
from diminished incomes and from the dislike of the 
moneyed classes to unnecessary outlay in a critical time. 
As a result of these unfavourable conditions production in 
certain manufactures must be decreased considerably, and 
in others entirely stopped. 

In the time of the last war with Turkey (1877-78), the 
entire yearly industrial production of Russia barely 
attained 893 million roubles (;^ 1 33,950,000) ; at the 
present day it has risen to 1828 million roubles 
(;^2 74, 200,000), as is shown by the following table : 


In Millions of Credit Roubles. 
(English Equivalents, in Parentheses, in Millions of Pounds Sterling.) 

Industrial Pro- 
ducts not subject 
to Excise. 

Yearly Produc- 
tion of Excised 
Articles, &c. 

Mines and Metal 



588 (88.2) 
1266 (189.9) 

185 (27.75) 
367 (55-05) 

120 (18) 
195 (29.25) 

893 (133-95) 
1828 (274.2) 

The distribution of this production is shown in millions 
of roubles in the plan on the next page : 





In order clearly to judge of the crisis which would be 
caused by war we must bear in mind the relations exist- 
ing between imports and home production. The following 
table shows the percentage relation of import to produc- 
tion of some of the chief imported articles in 1876 and in 
1892 : 



Steel . . . . 






Copper . 



Stone Coal 






Glass articles . 



Chemicals and paints 






Leather manufactures 



Cotton . 





12. 1 




These statistics show the greatest development in the 
following industries : cotton, wool, paper, machinery, 
chemicals and paints, leather, glass, and sugar refining. 
In the same period the working of coal and of naphtha 
increased considerably, while iron smelting and the working 
of iron and steel also made considerable advances. 

From the statistics above set forth it is obvious that the 
crisis which wars would cause in industrial and manufac- 
turing circles of Russia is incomparably less than would 
be produced in the Western States. While in the other 
great European States with the exception of Italy, industry 
occupies a considerable part — in England the greater part 
— of the population, in Russia the number of workers in 
all industries does not exceed i| million men, out of a 
population of 1 20 millions. Further, from comparison of 
the average total of industrial productiveness with the 
number of men engaged, it appears that in Russia the 
turnover for every workman engaged is only about lOOO 
roubles {£ 1 50), and that the average factory has a yearly 
turnover of 50,000 roubles (;^750o), and employs about 
45 hands. It is obvious that very small industrial under- 


takings are not included in this calculation. But such being 
the statistics for large and moderate-sized undertakings, 
taken together, it is plain that in Russian industry the 
mechanical apparatus is much less complex and engages 
much less capital than in those countries where industry 
predominates. From this it follows that, upon the decrease 
and partial interruption of Russian industry, the capital in- 
vested will sustain much less loss from the interruption of 
work than capital similarly invested in the West. But if we 
suppose that war is to be carried on within the limits of 
Russia itself, we must bear in mind the difficulties in 
communication, and the decreased demand in localities 
occupied by the combatants. The district where military 
operations were carried on might be considered as lost 
from the industrial point of view. 

Russian industry is based on internal demand, a fact 
which constitutes an advantage in case of war, as Russian 
manufactures will not, as those of England, Germany, and 
France, be threatened with the loss of foreign markets in 
consequence of interrupted communications. But this supe- 
riority will decrease proportionately with the increase in the 
area embraced by the war. And, although stoppage of work 
would take place in Russia on a smaller scale than in the 
West, it would nevertheless place in a difficult position a 
great number of workers. There is a general opinion that 
Russian factory hands, being peasants, are guaranteed by 
their land, and take to industry only temporarily, always 
reserving the possibility of returning to their farms. In 
recent years this opinion has been shaken by statistical 
investigation which undoubtedly proved the existence in 
Russia of a working, landless proletariat. For such 
workers the stoppage of production will have precisely the 
same consequences as in the West. 

Mr. E. M. DementyefF in a recent work, on the founda- 
tion of a series of statistics, comes to the conclusion that 
the current belief as to the absence in Russia of an in- 
dustrial class is unfounded. There is indeed no doubt 
that this class is still small. But the question is not one 
of number, but of the conditions rapidly creating this 



class, and of the consequences indissolubly bound up 
with it. 

The wages of workmen in Russia in comparison with 
those which obtain in other European states is very low, 
and it may safely be assumed that the savings they 
possess are insignificant. After a detailed calculation 
M. Dementyeff declares that wages in England, and 
particularly in America, are greater than in Russia by 
two, three, and even five times. The following table and 
diagram show the percentage difference in wages in these 
countries : 



Russia . 
England . 
America . 

. lOO 

. 2S3 
• 404 


Percentage Comparison of Wages in Russia, Great Britain, 
and Northern America. 


" But comparison of wages alone," says M. Dementyeff, 
" conveys no meaning, and even may lead to false conclu- 
sions, if the purchasing power of money in the different 
countries is not taken into account. Only by considering 
this we can form an idea as to the extent to which wages 
guarantee the existence of the worker." The author, after 
making a calculation as to the quantity of the first neces- 
saries of life which a rouble will command in England and 
in Massachusetts, comes to the conclusion that " the in- 
comparably lower wages in Russia can in no way be 
explained by the greater cheapness of necessaries ; such 
an explanation could only to a certain extent be admitted 
even in comparison with England." 


A characteristic feature of the condition of the Russian 
factory workers is that they do not Hve in their own 
lodgings. Of the general mass of cases examined in this 
respect by M. Dementyefif, 57.8 per cent, lived at their 
factories, either in the workshops where they work, or in 
barracks specially built for them, while the workers having 
their own lodgings constituted only 18. i per cent. 

The lodgings of factory workers, in the majority of 
cases, are such that of the " conditions " of their lives, 
there cannot even be speech. " Workers from distant 
localities for the most part have a sack or box with per- 
sonal property, such as changes of linen, and sometimes 
even bedding ; while those who are regarded as not living 
at the factory — that is, workers from the neighbouring 
country who go home on Sundays and on holidays — have 
literally nothing. In no case has either one or the other 
class any vestige of bed." 

The food is no better. In the majority of cases the 
supply of the workmen is carried on on the miel principle, 
and as far as quantity is concerned no complaint can be 
made, but the food is of the lowest quality — coarse, mono- 
tonous, and with a deficiency of animal substance. It 
consists of black bread, stchi of sour cabbage, porridge of 
wheat or buckwheat, with beef fat, potatoes, sour cabbage 
with hemp-oil, or kvas with cucumbers — such is the food 
of the workers from day to day, without the slightest 
variety throughout the year ; only on fast days, of which 
there are 190 in the year, the beef or salt beef in the stchi 
is replaced by herrings, &c., and the beef fat by hemp- 
oil. The food of the workers who occupy hired quarters is 
still worse, both as to quantity and quality. 

It is obvious that with such conditions there cannot 
even be thought of savings for a rainy day, and the crisis 
caused by war will be reflected on the life of workers in a 
fatal form. In view of this, common sense will demand 
that at the outbreak of war organised help of the workers 
should be begun. But this is a question which ought to 
be decided in time of peace. 


IV. — Economic Endurability of the Population in 
Time of and after War. 

We have referred more than once to the tremendous 
effect which war must produce in those countries which 
possess a highly developed industrial system, and where 
the economic and social order is more complex than in 
Russia. It will easily be understood that the sudden 
summons to the colours of a great number of masters and 
experienced workmen will be felt especially severely in 
those countries where a highly developed industry absorbs 
large capital, and gives work to half the population. This 
crisis will be less severe in those states which still pre- 
serve a character generally agricultural, which have less 
complex organisation and less mutual dependence between 
the different forms of social and private enterprise. 

But from this, of course, does not follow that the 
poorer the country the better will it bear the strain of 
war. It is plain that war breaking out after several years 
of good harvest would have less effect than if it were to 
appear after a series of unfruitful years. There is a 
certain minimum of well-being, not only material but also 
moral, which will enable peoples and districts to bear 
the strain of war and to recover from its consequences. 
If we take as example a country standing on a low level 
of economic development, or a semi-barbarous country, 
we will see that there war cannot stop the turning of 
millions of wheels, and will not ruin great undertakings. 
But the economic consequences of war in such a country 
will be extremely sensible ; a considerable part of the 
population will die of hunger, and whole districts will be 
turned into wildernesses. In Central Asia are districts 
which formerly were flourishing oases, but which, in con- 
sequence of a series of wars among a poor population, 
were simply covered with sand and turned into deserts. 

Thus, in considering the relative endurability of the 
Russian population in time of war and afterwards, wc are 
bound to pay attention to the moral and material level of 



the population, and to define the differences in this level 
in various parts of the country in order to estimate the 
economic endurability not only of the whole country but 
of its different parts. 

Growth of the Population. — Modern economic science, 
following the statistics of biology, acknowledges that 
every limit placed on the production of resources neces- 
sary for the nourishment, education, and moral well-being 
of the people, is at the same time a principle inimical to 
its very life — that is, to its increase. Thus, when consider- 
ing prolonged periods, one of the first standards must be 
the natural growth of the population in the different parts 
of the kingdom. In Russia nine-tenths of the population 
is composed of peasants, and the general statistics of 
growth relate mainly to them. 

Following the system of M. A. Malshinski in his work 
on " Popular Well-Being," we adopt the following classifi- 
cation for determining the degree of well-being in the 
different governments of Russia : 

(i) Condition excellent, where the yearly growth of the 
population amounts to 20 and more in every 
thousand of the general population. 

(2) Condition very good, with an increase of from 1 5 to 

20 in the thousand. 

(3) Condition fair, with a growth of from 10 to 15 per 


(4) Condition unsatisfactory, with a growth of not less 

than 8 per thousand. 

(5) Condition bad, with a growth of less than 8 per 


As relates to the general growth of the population in 
the various governments it is impossible to distinguish 
the natural growth from the growth which has resulted 
from immigration. But the chart on the preceding page 
illustrates the comparative growth of the population in 
1885 and 1897. 

Distribution of the Population. — But statistics as to 
growth of population are in themselves insufficient to 



Average Number of Houses in a Settlement. 



enable a judgment to be formed as to the level of well- 
being. It is therefore necessary to complete them with 
other information. The distribution of the population in 
villages is another factor from which conclusions may be 
drawn. The chart on the previous page shows the 
average number of houses in a settlement. 

fires. — Of the comparative condition of the country 
population in difterent parts of the empire we may judge 
by the number of fires, and also by the losses caused. It 
is generally taken as proven that the poorer the population 
the greater the number of fires, while the losses from fires, 
falling in general on a single householder, are relatively 
smaller. In the two charts (pp. 194-195) we show the 
average value of a single burned property in the villages 
in the period i860 and 1887 in roubles, and the average 
total of losses from fires in villages by every 100 inhabi- 
tants. From these charts it appears that wealth is greater 
in those governments which may be considered as the 
theatre of war, as the value of burnt properties is greater ; 
while on the other hand the general loss is less owing to 
the smaller number of cases of fire. In foreign states the 
yearly losses from fire per hundred inhabitants are shown 
in the following table in metallic roubles : 

Great Britain 
France . 
Austria . 
Belgium . 
Holland . 
Sweden and Norway 
United States 
Canada . 

160 (;^24) 

50 (£q los.) 

81 (;^I2 3S.) 

63 {£^ 95-) 

55 (^8 5s.) 

63 (/"g 9S-) 
99 {i^\ 175-) 
220 {£11) 

288 {£m 4S.) 

In Russia the losses from fire in the period i860- 1887 
amounted to 116 roubles (;^I7 8s.) per hundred inhabi- 
tants of the towns, and 52 roubles (^7 i6s.) per hundred 
inhabitants in the country, in all about 62 roubles {£^ Gs^ 
From this we see that of all the European states only 
in France and Belgium do fires cause less damage than 
in Russia, notwithstanding the fact that the Western 




generally stand 

states, as far as wealth is 
much higher than Russia. 

It is useful here to note the relation of values insured to 
losses in different countries : 

Per Cent. 

Per Cent 

France . 

• 75 


• 44 


• 74 


• 43 

United States 


Russia . 


Great Britain 

. 46 

From this it will be seen that in Russia guarantee 
against fire by insurance is from 6 to 8 times less than in 
other countries. 

Towns. — Through insufficiency of statistics it is difficult 
to speak of the towns in Russia. One thing, however, 
stands out in relief — that is, that they grow more slowly 
than in Western countries, while the population of the 
country increases quickly. In Western Europe the agri- 
cultural population increases slowly, and even inclines 
to diminution, as may be seen from the following table : 

Percentage Growth of Town and Country Populations to 1885, 
taking the Population in 1863 as 100. 



European Russia 

. + 31 

+ 64 

Poland . 

. + 65 

+ 75 

Austria . 

. + 2.5 

+ II7-9 


. - 4.6 

+ 61 

Prussia . 

. - 5-3 

+ 80.1 

Saxony . 

. + 1.4 

+ 76.9 

France . 

. - 3-6 . 

+ 26.6 

Savings. — The level of deposits in the savings banks is 
one of the best bases for judging of the degree of well- 
being of a population. But in Russia this factor cannot 
wholly be relied upon, as, although since the foundation of 
savings banks the agricultural population has begun to 
entrust to them its savings, still this practice has not 
yet become as general in Russia as abroad. Compared 



Average Value of one Property destroyed by Fire, between 
1860-87, in Roubles. 



Average Losses from Fires in the Country, in Roubles, per 100 
Inhabitants, between 1860-68. 


with the other European states Russia in this respect 
occupies the last place. 

Condition of Agriculture. — The emancipation of the 
serfs thirty-five years ago could not fail to react upon the 
condition of agriculture. Both large and small agriculture, 
with the abolition of free labour, had to be reformed 
radically on the principles of hired labour and intense 
cultivation. Resources for floating capital were realised 
through ransom. But the suddenness of the transfer to 
the new conditions operated in such a way that the 
majority of private landowners could not or would not 
undertake the new work. Some proprietors abandoned 
personal participation in agriculture, and went into the 
services ; others continued to work, as far as was possible, 
on the old basis, with the difference that they no longer 
had the advantage of free labour. It may be said that 
agriculture in Russia presents a compromise between the 
conditions of serfage culture and the requirements of a 
rational system. To a considerable extent it is still 
carried on without working capital, labour being paid for 
with a proportion of the harvest ; and agriculture remains 
almost in the same position as in the days of free labour. 

To introduce variety in cuhivated products in peasant 
agriculture is very difficult. The peasants specialising 
ever more and more in one kind of corn, in conse- 
quence of the fall of prices, cannot draw from agriculture, 
even in the event of superfluous crops, sufficient money 
for redemption payments, taxes, and for the purchase 
of necessary articles. To all these requirements for 
ready money, owing to the growth of the population 
is added the necessity for leasing land from private 
proprietors and from the Crown ; for even in the case 
of lease from private proprietors payment is made not 
only in kind — that is, by ploughing, harvesting, and 
threshing — but partly also in money. Thus the growing 
need of the peasantry for money has led them into debt, 
and encouraged in the country the growth of a burden- 
some usury. 

The increased tendency of the peasantry in many locali- 


ties towards emigration shows that peasant agriculture has 
been played out in consequence of the exhaustion oF the 
land and of the impossibility of obtaining money. Together 
with this, the decrease in the number of cattle, the absence 
of improvements in tillage, and the poverty of domestic life, 
show the wretched condition in which the remaining 
peasants find themselves. And, indeed, in some govern- 
ments the greater part of the peasants, in order to satisfy 
their needs, are compelled to seek additional support in 
labour away from home. 

With such extremely unsatisfactory conditions the con- 
sequence of a great war could only be to increase the 
difficulties of peasant agriculture, all the more so since a 
war would interrupt for a long time many auxiliary 

In relation to indebtedness, large and especially 
moderate landowners are in no better position than the 
peasantry. Compelled to seek floating capital for the 
carrying on of industry, landowners had recourse to 
mortgage. True, the advances they received were made 
on terms incomparably lighter than those made to the 
peasants, but their total indebtedness is unquestionably 
greater than the indebtedness of the peasantry. On the 
1st January, 1896, the value of mortgages issued by 
thirty-six lending institutions was 1,618,079,807 credit 
roubles (^242,711,971 is.), 2,689,775 roubles metal 
(;^403,466 5s.), and 7,101,900 German marks (;^355.095)- 

Although before the emancipation of the serfs a con- 
siderable proportion of Russian estates was mortgaged, 
yet the percentage charged by the Imperial Loan Bank 
was lower than that since charged by joint-stock banks ; 
and as the loans were made upon the number of souls, the 
very growth of the population, by remitting auxiliary 
loans, facilitated the payment of part of the first loan. 
The institution of the Nobility Bank, and the consequent 
diminution of yearly payments, constituted indeed a con- 
siderable rehef ; but, without dwelling upon the fact that 
credit in the Nobility Bank is not accessible to all 
landowners, borrowing generally lays upon agriculture a 


heavy burden, and can only result in advantage when the 
money raised is devoted to increased production, and even 
this depends upon satisfactory harvests. But there is 
reason to believe that the greater part of these loans \yas 
employed in unproductive objects, and also in provision 
for inheritances, so that the growth of the population 
acted injuriously. 

To such influences were added the fall in the price of 
corn in Europe, in consequence of trans-oceanic competi- 
tion, and in Russia by special local circumstances. In 
addition, it must be remembered that local purchasers of 
corn are less numerous in Russia than in other European 
states, owing to the relatively smaller urban and industrial 
population. If the production of corn did not decrease, 
it is due to the opening up of new lands, and increased 
attention to tillage in the south and east of the country. 
For further extension of tillage, room remains now only 
in the east and in the north. In the course of time, 
if the present primitive methods for working the land 
are not improved — and for this are required those financial 
and intellectual forces which are now devoted to the 
strengthening of the military power of Russia — the pro- 
duction of corn will not only cease to increase, but will 
begin to diminish. Even now the breeding of sheep and 
cattle is declining. 

Number of Domestic Animals. — The quantity of cattle 
raised is a chief sign of the well-being of the agriculturist, 
not only because cattle represent capital, but because the 
very feeding of the population can be guaranteed only by 
the aid of the products of cattle raising. In this respect 
large horned cattle take the most important place, and 
the quantity of these in different parts of the Empire 
differs and submits to fluctuations. Up to the time of 
the building of railways, the raising of cattle was generally 
looked upon as a necessary evil, for the price of such 
products was very low. Nevertheless as the outlay 
caused by the distance of the markets from the place of 
production, owing to primitive methods of transport, was 
great, proprietors of necessity had recourse to cattle 




breeding in order to draw some revenue from their 
estates. It is very natural that after the building of 
railways cattle breeding in those districts where improve- 
ment was not valued began to decay, at the same time 
the production of corn giving much worse results. In the 
chart on the preceding page will be found the distribution 
of stock in the different governments, taking as unity a 
head of large cattle, or lo sheep, 12 goats, 4 pigs, and 
§ horse. 

Comparative Merit of Agriculture. — It is well known 
that by the number of domestic animals we may judge of 
the merit of agriculture in a given locality. The more 
persistently agriculture is carried on, the more, with normal 
conditions, it requires improvement of the soil, and in 
consequence the quantity of domestic animals must be 
greater. Now the productiveness of land in Russia is 
much lower than in other states, as will be seen in the 
annexed chart. 

Yield per Desyatin (= 2.70 acres) in Quarters, 


To 10 
From 10. 1 to 13 
,, 13.1 ,, 16 
Over 16.1. 

Austria. Poland. Russia. 

The circumstance is not without significance that in case 
of war a certain area of land gives a small reserve of 



corn. By comparing harvests with the number of domestic 
animals, the condition of Russia is also shown to be very 
bad, as will be seen from the following chart : 

Number of Large Cattle per loo Quarters yield. 

The following table is even more instructive : 

On loo Desyatins of 

The Harvest from a 

Land under Seed Russia 

Desyatin of Land in 

has Less Cattle 


Russia is Less by 

England . 

. 75 per cent. 

73 per cent 

Belgium . 

. . 63 


69 „ 

Austria . 

. 53 




• 51 



France . 

. 43 






From which we see that in Russia ioodcsyattns(2'/0 acres) 
of corn land have 62 per cent, less domestic animals, and 
yet produce a harvest only 59 per cent, less than in other 
states. Such a comparatively favourable result proceeds 
from the fact that in recent times much land formerly 
lying idle has been devoted to agriculture, and partly from 
the abundance of land; for Russia in comparison with 
other states has the smallest proportion of her land under 


seed — precisely 26 per cent, of her area — while the other 
states have 43 per cent. 

The time in the course of which the population of each 
government of Russia might feed itself from its own har- 
vests is shown in the chart on the next page, from which it is 
seen that the most unfavourable conditions in this respect 
would be found by an invading enemy in the governments 
of Vilna, Grodno, Minsk, Vitebsk, Moghilef, and Tcher- 
nigov. This conclusion is founded on statistics as to the 
relations of population to harvest — that is, on the extent of 
the superfluity of the general harvest. To give a clearer 
idea of this matter it is necessary to show separately the 
harvests on the lands of private proprietors and on the 
lands held by the peasantry. Private proprietors of 
course utilise a very insignificant proportion of the grain 
they raise, while the peasants chiefly live on their own 
corn, and sell only a small surplus, sometimes even being 
forced to buy. In view of the importance of this question, 
we show in the two diagrams on page 205 the harvest of 
the chief grains on the lands of proprietors and peasants in 
millions of quarters in 1893, in fifty provinces of European 
Russia, and ten governments of Poland. 

The tillage of land by proprietors might be considered 
a favourable factor if it were a sign that proprietors 
occupy themselves with agriculture, and exploit the land 
in regular form. But, unhappily, facts are entirely 
opposed to this. In the majority of cases proprietors 
have no interest, under present circumstances, in working 
the land with their own resources, and lease it to the 
tenants by the dcsyatin* at a rent, for a proportion of the 
harvest, or for labour. To improve the methods of 
agriculturists is extremely difficult. The conditions under 
which the emancipation of the peasantry took place, the 
consequent agricultural crisis, and those measures which 
were taken in foreign countries for its avoidance, placed 
Russian agriculturists in an extremely difficult if not 
hopeless position. And there is no need to be a prophet 

* A desyatin is equivalent to 2.70 acres. 


to foretell that the economic condition of Russia will 
become every year worse and worse if the present state of 
affairs continues. Russia is a country which exports 
agricultural products, yet by that very action she 
exports also the native virtues of her soil. From an 
estimate of the quantity of wheat, oats and barley — that 
is, the chief grains — and the number of domestic animals 
and bones exported, it appears that Russia sends out 
of the country every year more than 80 million roubles 
(;^ 1 2,000,000) worth of the value of the soil. These 
figures are in no way surprising. By calculations made 
by Komers it is shown that in order to retain the fruit- 
fulness of the soil it is necessary to devote to that 
purpose from 20 to 33 per cent, of the income which 
it yields. 

A more intense system of culture is therefore for 
Russia a first necessity ; but for this is required a certain 
tension of intellectual and material resources of which a 
deficiency is now experienced. In the "Agricultural 
Reviews," published by the Russian Department of 
Agriculture, we constantly meet the statement that the 
unsatisfactory harvests of Russia depend less upon 
cHmatic and natural conditions than upon unsatisfactory 
methods of culture. Especially loud, in this respect, 
are the complaints made against the methods of the 

It is necessary to repeat that the emancipation of the 
serfs left landed proprietors, as concerns resources, in the 
most lamentable position. More than three-quarters of 
the total number of estates were mortgaged to the old 
Credit Associations, scarcely one proprietor possessed 
savings, and agriculture was carried on only because free 
labour enabled proprietors to do without ready money. 
Even agriculture carried on on a large scale in pre- 
emancipation times required the most inconsiderable 
capital. But agriculture as lately carried on, without 
floating capital and without productive outlay, can only 
lead to the exhaustion of the soil. 

Indebtedness of the Peasantry.— hs concerns the 



peasantry emancipation shook the country out of 
torpitude, and introduced new conditions of life, freedom 
of activity, and immediate responsibility for payments to 
the state. The possibility was created of buying and leasing 
land, but, at the same time, arose also the need of ac- 
quiring bread and seed, and other objects formerly received 

Harvest in Millions of Quarters in 1893. 












::::::3 28a 


" Tl 

Kye ...-..- 


- -M 

Oats ::::::::::: H 


1 J 

1 " 

Barley --- 

- - - 23 * 



from the proprietor, or gained by work at home. The 
peasants disposed of more time for work among them- 
selves, but, at the same time, a need arose for money 
payments instead of service. Natural agriculture was 
replaced by agriculture on a money basis. It was plain 
that money was to serve as the chief factor in the new 

It was from such a circumstance that the indebtedness of 
the peasantry arose. It is obvious that if extreme need 


for money were only experienced by the peasants on 
special occasions, they might either take advantage of 
their own savings or borrow money from their neigh- 
bours. But with the absence among the people of any 
considerable savings, and the non-existence of popular 
credit, the peasants were obliged to have recourse to the 
so-named miroyeds and usurers, on the most burdensome 

A systematic and comprehensive investigation of the 
debts of the Russian peasantry has not yet been made. 
For this purpose it would be necessary to collect precise 
information in all governments, as has been done by the 
Zemstva in those governments where statistical bureaux 
exist. At the present time we have only fragmentary 

From the statistics collected by the Zemstva it is shown 
that private credit costs the peasants of Great Russia from 
40 to 60 roubles {£6 to ^9) yearly on a loan of 100 roubles 
(^15), and this only for common loans, individuals paying 
at a higher rate, even as much as 1 50 per cent. ** Owing to 
the difficulty of obtaining money on any conditions," writes 
M. Sokolovski in his work on the subject, "the peasants 
have recourse to the most ruinous means — to the sale of 
their summer labour in advance, to the sale of corn neces- 
sary for their families, even to the sale of corn immediately 
after harvest. It may be imagined that in such conditions 
the very lowest prices are obtained ; thus soon appears the 
necessity for new loans, and a veritable system of slavery 

" Such slavery in the Great Russia is exploited by the 
miroyed on a lawful basis. . . . Thus, for instance, the 
winter price of summer field labour is but a half or a 
third of the summer price, so that the kulak having made 
a loan on this basis receives from 100 to 300 per cent, on 
his advance. . . . There exists a veritable trade in slave 
labour. Travelling from village to village these usurers 
furnish the peasantry with money, binding the borrower 
to repay the debt by summer work ; and having thus 
acquired a working force, sell it at a price two to three times 



higher to those who require summer labour. This system 
obtains as generally in the south as it does in the north. 
In winter time when some unfortunate peasant is threatened 
with an execution for non-payment of taxes, or in spring 
when he is threatened with starvation, the usurer buys 
for a trifle his summer labour, giving him in advance from 
1 5 to 30 roubles {£2 5s. to ^4 los.). In spring the usurers 
drive whole artels of labourers to field labour and to fac- 
tories, having sold their labour at double the price they 

" Traders of another sort travel through the country 
engaged exclusively in the traffic in children. Many 
poor parents for a trifling sum sell their children for a 
certain number of years, in the course of which the 
children are to be left with tradesmen or artisans in 
the capacity of apprentices. Having bought in this 
manner a score of children, the trader sends them in 
carts to St. Petersburg, precisely as traders of another 
kind send calves. In St. Petersburg these children are 
sold to shops and factories at a profit of from 200 to 
300 per cent. Such a trade in children and in adults is 
generally prevalent in the Moscow, Ryazan and other 

Marriages^ Bifi/is, and Deaths in Russia. — We have 
already considered the growth of the population in Russia, 
in its association with other conditions of the population. 
In the following table will be found a comparison of the 
growth of the Orthodox population of Russia with the 
growth of the general population of other European 
countries : 

Increase in a Thousand Inhabitants. 



Russia . 

. 15.0 



. 12.0 



. 7.1 



. 14.1 


Italy . 

• 9-5 



. 2.5 



. 9-7 



Let us present this comparison graphically : 


Growth of the Orthodox Population ift Russia, and the General 
Population of other Countries, per Thousand. 



In Russia the proportion of marriages, as will be seen 
from the diagram at the top of the next page, immensely 
exceeds the proportion of other states. 

In the number of births a similar preponderance is 
shown in the case of Russia, the rate being twice as great 
as that of France, and one and a half times greater than 
that of England. 

The number of births in Russia in the period 188 1- 
1885 in 1000 inhabitants is expressed by the figure 56.0, 
while among the other European states the greatest birth- 

Number of Marriages per looo. 

IL_ 7,8 7,7 7^ 7:5 

Number of Births per Thousand. 



rate was only 39.2 (Austria). But at the same time the 
mortahty in Russia is greater than elsewhere in Europe ; 
in the above-mentioned period it amounted to 41 in the 
thousand, while in other countries the greatest mortality, 
that of Austria, was only 31.4 in the thousand. 

Mortality per 1000. 

In Russia the death-rate of children is especially high. 
In the period 1 865-1 878, out of 100 deaths the number 
of children under 11 years old in Russia was 36.2, in 
Prussia 32.2, and in France only 18.7. 

Still more characteristic is the mortality among infants 
under one year old ; in Russia it amounts to 29.5 percent, 
of the number born, and in certain governments, for 
instance, Pskov and Smolensk, to 3 1.4 per cent. ; in foreign 



countries, as is shown by the following diagram, the mor- 
tality of infants of under one year is higher only in Bavana 
and in Wurtemburg. 

Percentage Mortality of Children under One Year, 

31>* 29,8 30,2 

20,4 20,9 g 


The mortality of infants of this age is an important 
factor in judging of the degree of culture of a people and 
of its moral condition. There can be no doubt that eco- 
nomic well-being and intellectual development constitute 
factors opposed to a heavy infant mortality. It is obvious 
that in the interests of a state it is less important that 
children should be born than that those born should live, 
the consequence of which is the preservation of a greater 
quantity of working forces and money resources, not 
only in individual families, but in the whole country. 
Infant mortality depends mainly upon nourishment, 
or in other words on the degree of prosperity of the 
people. The investigations of Pfeiffer show that of the 


total number of infants dying within a year of birth, 
from 40 per cent, to 70 per cent, die from bad or 
insufficient food. 

Deficiency of suitable food, that is, plainly, hunger, is 
the cause of the high mortality among the infant popula- 
tion of Russia. The Protoierei Gilyarovski, in his valu- 
able work, " A Sanitary Investigation of the Government 
of Novgorod," mentions the following circumstance as an 
illustration of the condition of the agricultural population. 
The labourers on going to work leave the unweaned 
infants behind, and in order to prevent their death by 
hunger, owing to want of milk, "employ a system which 
for simplicity and horror might be the method of savages. 
Having made dumplings out of masticated black bread, 
they bind them to the hands and feet of the children, in 
the belief that the child when rolling on the floor will lift 
its hands and feet to its mouth and suck the nourishment 
from the bread." 

Mortality is also found to depend upon a number of other 
conditions — geographical, climatic, and racial, from the 
occupations of a people and from its medical organisation. 
But the chief factor determining mortality remains never- 
theless the degree of economic well-being ; and thus from 
the mortality statistics we may fairly judge of the condi- 
tion of a population. 

We have already quoted statistics showing that in 1867- 
73 the mortality of the Orthodox population of Russia 
amounted to 40.2 in the thousand, and in the period 1881- 
85 to 41. The growth of the population, representing the 
preponderance of births over deaths among the orthodox 
population in the period 1867-73 was 12.6, and in the 
period 1881-85, 15. 

It is not surprising that the statistics of births, morta- 
lity, the composition of the population, age, &c., in Russia, 
are extremely unsatisfactory in comparison with those of 
other states. It is enough to emphasise the fact, illus- 
trated by the chart on the next page, that of 1000 persons of 
both sexes born in Norway, 717 attain the age of 25 years, 
in Prussia 581, while in Russia only 508 attain that age. 




umber of Survivors out of looo Children Born, at all 
Ages up to 75- 



































-. fi 


\ < 






K ^ 











59>j 4 /» 




V i 





r^^.. t^ 





»^ - 





















^v,. It 



S '"' 









































10 IS 20 25 30 35 40 45 SO SS 60 6S 70 TS 


The life of every individual represents a certain quantity 
of potential energy necessary for the fulfilment of his 
appointed work ; in other words, the life of every man has 
a definite value to the state. The value of life on the 
basis of potential energy is estimated in England in the 
following form : 

A new-born child of the farming class has a value of 5 
At 5 years of age has a value of . . . .56 
)i 10 ,, ,, „ .... 117 

1) 15 )) 11 »» .... 193 

n 20 „ ,, „ .... 234 

It is necessary to observe that up to the age of 17 years 
the average value of the labour of a man is lower than the 
cost of his maintenance. The value of human life in 
Prussia, estimated in five-yearly periods, separately for 
manual and for intellectual work, is given by Professor 
Wittstein, as in the diagram on the following page. 

But in addition to the loss of capital, the death of every 
man causes special outlay for medical treatment and burial, 
and constitutes a direct loss to the state. The figures 
given in the following table, taking lOOO births, show that 
the number of individuals living to a working age of 15 
years, and also to 60 years, is less favourable to Russia 
than to other states : 

England . 
Germany . 
Italy . 

Having examined these statistics of mortality, it is 
impossible not to come to the conclusion that the cause of 
the greater mortality in Russia is the poverty of its popu- 
lation and the lower degree of its culture. 

To IS years. 

To 60 years. 

















Value of Human Life in Thousands of Thalers. 
3fl .3.) 3.5 3? * 


Engaged in Physical Wor 




































I o 

Engaged »n Intellectual Work 

v.— Moral Condition of the Population. 

We have already cited a number of facts indicating the 
condition of poverty of the mass of the population of 
Russia. This question especially required enlightenment 
in view of the gravity of the consequences which war 
might call forth and which might follow in its wake. 
General conclusions here can only be drawn from the 
impartial evidence of figures, and it was this consideration 


M ^ On O Oi 


s; s i 


which impelled us in treating partly of the economic and 
partly of the moral condition of the country to treat also of 
matters which it may appear have no direct immediate 
bearing upon the contentions of this work. But this incon- 
sequence is only apparent. The significance of war for 
Russia, as for all other countries, cannot be estimated 
merely by the number of armies which may be put in the 
field, the number of shells which may be discharged in a 
given time, and the extent of ground which would be 
covered by their fragments. Many factors in the policies 
of peoples which in times of peace stand little in relief, 
in that revolution of all conditions which war may cause 
will acquire a special significance, and it is in the con- 
sideration of these factors that we find it necessary to 

Popular Education. — In Russia popular education stands, 
unhappily, on a very different foundation from that which 
would be desired. Devoting all its resources to the satis- 
faction of military requirements and the payment of loans, 
the Government has had little left to devote to education. 
From the chart on the preceding page, which shows the 
yearly outlay on education for one inhabitant, it will be 
seen that the expenditure on education is distributed over 
the country very unequally, fluctuating between 3 kopecks 
and 4 roubles 90 kopecks (from ^d. to 14s. 8f^.) 

The low level of education in Russia is shown most 
clearly of all by the number of illiterates accepted for 
military service. It will be seen from the diagrams on the 
opposite page that the number in Russia is 50 times greater 
than in Germany, 6 times greater than in France, and 
50 per cent, greater than in Italy. 

If we examine the distribution of illiteracy by govern- 
ments we shall see that in the Baltic provinces the number 
of illiterates, compared with the total population, is less 
than 5 per cent., whereas in Great Russia it is as high as 
94 per cent. In the government of Moscow it is 47 per cent., 
and in the six contiguous governments it fluctuates between 
58 per cent, in Vladimir and 76 percent, in Smolensk. In 
Kishenef and Ufa the number of illiterate recruits in the 



period 1874-83 was 92 per cent, and 94 per cent, respec- 

Such a lamentable condition of things is not confined 


Percentage of Illiterates accepted for Military Service. 

49-21 ^^'^ 

3 < 


32 Z 




In 1886-1887. 

to the lower levels of education only. In intermediate 
and higher education we find a state of things relatively 
similar. The diagrams on pp. 218-219 give some illustra- 
tion of this statement. 

As an illustration of the deficiency of special training 


Number of Students in Higher and Intermediate Educational 
Institutions, per 100,000 of the Population, Classified accord- 
ing to Social Condition. 







Number entering Universities per 1000 trained in Intermediate 



Numbers Receiving Special Training per 100,000 of the 





Other Religions. 


in Russia we have constructed the following diagram 
showi^ig the number of doctors in Russia and in other 
states : 

Number of Doctors in European States per 100,000 Inhabitants 


H -H: ::HH:i:Ht:H:-:H::n:H::H»::n:::::::::::jr 

From the above diagram it will be seen that the number 
of doctors in Russia is quite insignificant, being from 3 to 
8 times less in proportion than in other European states. 
In the first place stand the metropolitan governments ; in 
the government of St. Petersburg the number of doctors 
for every million of the population is 557, and in the 
Moscow government 420. The minimum is found in the 



government of Vologda, with n to the million, in Ufa 
with 35, in Orenburg with 31 and in Vyatka with 30. 
Still more striking are the facts illustrated by the following 
diagram : 

Number of Quadratic Kilometres for every Doctor. 























Russia .... | 




' ' ' 


Thus considered in relation to area we find in Russia 44 
less number of doctors than in Belgium, 35 less than in 
Italy and in England, 16 times less than in France, and 14 
times less than in Germany and Austria. Norway alone 
approaches Russia in this respect. Statistics as to the out- 
lay on medicine are also interesting, as showing the immense 
disproportion of means of relief attainable in various parts 
of the Empire. The chart on the next page illustrates this 
subject : 




Sickness. — As a natural consequence of poverty, igno- 
rance, and the absence of medical aid, we find a corre- 
spondingly unsatisfactory state in the health of the popu- 
lation. In the number of serious illnesses typhus takes 
the first place. Although in recent times it is acknow- 
ledged that typhus is caused by a peculiar infectious 
micro-organism, still the proportion of cases of sickness to 
cases of death must be acknowledged as a symptom of more 
or less culture. In this respect Russia also finds herself 
in an unfavourable condition. From the statistics for the 
period 1887-91 (see next page) it is shown that the num- 
ber of cases of typhus fluctuated in various governments 
from 57 per 100,000 in the Astrahkan government to 914 
per 100,000 in the government of Tula, and that the pro- 
portionate mortality from this illness was immense in 
certain places, amounting to as much as 21 per cent, in 
the government of Siedlicz. 

In other respects, as regards health, it will be found 
that Russia is in an equally unfavourable condition. And 
if unfavourable material conditions increase the liability to 
sickness and death of a population, these same conditions 
similarly react on its moral condition. It is obvious that 
where the general level of material prosperity is high 
there will appear less tendency to crime, greater softness 
of manners, and a stronger tendency towards education. 
It is interesting therefore to consider some phenomena 
illustrating the moral condition of the country. 

Illegitimacy. — Although it must be admitted that certain 
of the causes increasing the figures of illegitimacy must be 
sought outside the domain of ethics, nevertheless statistics 
on this subject may be considered as proving much as to 
the moral condition of a people. In relation to illegiti- 
macy Russia finds herself in a favourable position, the 
percentage of illegitimate births being less than in any 
other European state, as is shown by the diagram on 
page 225. 

This circumstance is explained by the comparative earli- 
ness of marriage among the peasantry. The percentage of 
married soldiers accepted for military service in the period 


o^ (j\ <y^ o o> 



1874-83 reached in four governments over 60 per cent,, 
and in the greater part of Russia was between 30 per 
cent, and 60 per cent., though in the Northern and North- 
Western provinces it fluctuates between 2 per cent, and 
18 per cent. 

Suicide. — Professor Oettingen in his work on " Moral- 
statistik," declares that suicide " is the consequence of 

Number oj Illegitimates in 1000 Births. 




70 ^5 

that despair which results from social evils and from 
immoral social relations." The new school of Italian 
physiologists and psycho-criminologists, at the head of 
which stand Lombroso and Morselli, on the other hand, 
find the cause of suicide in the struggle for existence. 
Professor Gvozdefif, at the beginning of his remarkable 
work on suicide, sets down the following words : " In pro- 
portion as the requirements from life increase increases also 
the number of suicides." Thus suicide is one of the gravest 
questions of the nineteenth century, and statistics as to its 
prevalence may serve as an indication of the condition of 
a people. 

From general statistics we find that the increase of 




drunkenness corresponds to the increase in the number of 
suicides. Mulhall finds that approximately 15 per cent, 
of suicides in Europe result from drunkenness. From 
20 per cent, to 30 per cent, of suicides are caused by dis- 

Ntunber of Suicides per 100,000 Inhabitants. 



4.6 4.5 

satisfaction with material conditions ; from which we must 
conclude that unfavourable economic conditions are an im- 
portant factor in determining the number of suicides. The 
proportion of suicides in Russia is much smaller than in 
other states, as maybe seen from the above diagram, showing 
the number of suicides among men and women in Europe. 


It is impossible not to notice the characteristic fact that 
the proportion of female to male suicides is greater in 
Russia than in other states, a fact which may be explained 
by the lamentable position of women in Russia. 

Drunkenness. — It is well known that in Russia drunken- 
ness is a widespread social evil, eating away the lives of 
whole generations, ruining the organisms not only of men 
but of women and even children. Without taking into 
consideration those dying directly from drunkenness, drink 
is the cause of serious illnesses, with all their unfortunate 
consequences. The victims of alcoholism, as those 
deprived of reason, lose all power of resisting their 
passions. Their actions are carried on under the influ- 
ence of immediate animal impulses, in no way regulated 
by reason. The poisoning of the brain of alcoholics does 
not at once react upon the physical strength, but their 
conduct shows no trace of a rational will. In such form 
they become insane or criminal, and in any case dangerous 
members of society both in the present and in the future. 
In Germany, Herr Baer, chief physician of the Plotzensee 
Central Prison, showed on the basis of statistics, the rela- 
tions between drunkenness and crime. He found that out of 
32,837 criminals confined in 120 German prisons, 13,706, 
or 42 per cent., were drunkards. Investigation as to the 
causes of insanity in England, France, Denmark, and in 
the United States showed that approximately 14 per cent, 
of cases were caused by drunkenness. In France insanity 
caused by the excessive employment of spirituous liquors 
grows continually. In 1836, 7 per cent, of cases of 
insanity were found to be caused by drunkenness. From 
the last available statistics we find that this percentage 
had increased to 21 per cent., or three times. In 
Holland in 1882, 12 per cent, of the cases of insanity 
were traced to excessive drinking. Similar figures are 
found foi' other European countries. In the United 
States the proportion of insanity caused by alcoholism 
amounts to 26 per cent. 

In Russia the use of alcohol per unit of the population 
is less than in other countries. But this depends upon 


the irregular use of vodka, and in no way aflccts the fact 
that in that country drunkenness is very common. Rarely 
does the peasant or workman in Russia consume alcohol 
in small innocuous quantities. Usually Russians either 
do not drink at all or drink to stupefaction, and often to 
unconsciousness. In addition to this, in the opinion of 
many investigators, the use of alcohol in Russia is espe- 
cially injurious in consequence of climatic conditions. 

Nevertheless, the opinion which attributes the eagerness 
of the peasantr}'^ for spirituous hquors to an immoral 
impulse is narrow and unfounded. That eagerness is the 
consequence of many elements — the lamentable conditions 
of life, the absence of recreation, and the very nature of the 
food of the people, consisting as it does almost exclusively 
of vegetable substances. It is a well-known fact that the 
whole aboriginal vegetarian populations of islands dis- 
covered by Europeans were exterminated by the rapid 
spread of drunkenness. 

But whatever its causes may be, drink is undoubtedly one 
of the causes of crime and of impotence in the improve- 
ment of social conditions. In general it may be said that 
as long as the causes of drunkenness are not removed, no 
restrictive or punitive measures will be eftective In out- 
rooting the evil. Measures for raising the economic level 
of the people and the wide development of popular educa- 
tion are necessary' first. 

The consumption of spirituous liquors in Russia in 
comparison with other countries is shown in the diagram 
on the opposite page. 

The number of sacrifices to drink is shown in the dia- 
gram on page 230. 

Crhiic. — The criminal statistics of every country may be 
taken as a factor in determining the level of material and 
moral well-being of its population. A comparison of the 
criminal statistics of Russia with those of other countries 
is made extremely difticult owing to the irregular classifi- 
cation of offences, and the irregular jurisdiction of the 
lower courts. In consequence of this the statistics found 
in the Abstracts published by the Ministry of Justice have 












little value as a basis for comparison, and indeed com- 
parison of these statistics with those of Western European 
countries gives results far too optimistic and quite untrust- 
worthy, as a great part of the offences of the greater part of 
the population, which fall under the jurisdiction of the 
Volost courts, are omitted. An arithmetical comparison 
even of serious crimes cannot be safely made ; for the 

Number of Deaths from Drunkenness in 1,000,000 of the 

Volost courts, through ignorance of the law and incapacity 
to distinguish in a single case different forms of law- 
breaking, very often determine criminal cases which by 
law are outside their competence. 

Information collected in three governments, Podolsk, 
Moghilef, and Voluinsk, has served as a basis for 
estimating the total number of persons convicted by the 
Volost courts. Adding the number of such convictions to 
the figures in the ordinary criminal statistics we have con- 
structed the following diagram, showing the proportions of 
crime in Russia and Poland : 



Average Ntmber of Convictiofis in 200,000 of the Population 
(100,000 men and 100,000 women) in 1878-1885. 


Arrest and Whipping. 

Other Punishments. 

The attempt to draw a comparison between the amount of 
crime in Russia and in foreign countries is made extremely 
difficult by the differences in criminal codes. To add to 
this difficulty the criminal statistics in some countries 
relate to the number of accused, in some others to the 
number of crimes, and in others only to the number of 
convicted. But even an approximate comparison cannot 
be without value. The most useful information would be 
given by the distribution of convicts according to religious 
faiths, but unfortunately through the lack of statistics as 
to the religious profession of the peasants of the Empire, 
such a classification was impossible. We have therefore 
been compelled to divide the convicts in the Empire 
into three groups — peasants, Jews, and others. (See dia- 
grams on pages 232, 233, 234, 235.) 

It is not without interest to consider the number of 
those convicted according to sex. The table at top of 
page 236 gives the percentage relations of the sexes in the 
number of convicts. 

To complete this picture it is only necessary to show 
the increase or diminution of crime in Russia in comparison 
with that of other states. In this case, irregular registra- 
tion does not play so serious a part, as we are not dealing 
with the quantity of crime, but with its increase and 
diminution in a certain period. For Russia we take the 
periods 1878-82 and 1888-89. After examining ,. the 




















o o 

























Timber Stealing. 




















1 -^ 



























1— > 


"— > 




»— 1 





















^ ''S 

o a 

.^ ■=> 

^ -^ 

« ^ 



















, - 





, ^:::::::::::::::::::::: 


in :::::::::::::::::::::::::::: 


llllllllllll III 











Other Religions. 









Numbers Condemned for Sivindling per Million of the 
Corresponding Population. 

Prussia and Germany, 
different forms of swindling. 






Catholics. ^^ 




^^ ^1f 








Protestants. ^Bil^^ 








Percentage Relations of Men and Women Convicted. 
89: ft> 89 L- 

Percentage Increase in the Fifeeen Chief Forms of Crime. 

The Empire. Poland. 



statistics of fifteen of the chief forms of crime we find an 
increase in crime in the second period in Russia of 14 per 
cent., and in Poland of 46 per cent. The diagram at the 
bottom of the preceding page presents these relations more 

For comparison with foreign states we will take Great 
Britain, France, Austria, and Germany. In this respect 
Great Britain is in the most favourable position of all, as 
the following diagrams show : 

Number of Convictions in Great Britain per 100,000 Inhabitants. 




Thus we find that since the year i860 the number of 
convicted persons in Great Britain has fallen by 109 per 

Among countries where the increase of crime has been 
inconsiderable may be named France and Austria : 

Number of Convictions in Thousands. 
France. Austria. 


In Germany, on the other hand, we find the same 
phenomenon as in Russia. 

Number of Convictions in Germany per 100,000 Inhabitants. 

It is interesting in the case of Russia to see the distri- 
bution of crime among the population in its relation to 

Higher education 
Educated . 
Illiterate . 


Per Cent. 




Per Cent. 



The chart on the opposite page shows the outlay on 
justice of all kinds and on prisons in 1887 per inhabitant. 

To fill in this brief outline of the moral condition of 
Russia we will cite some statistics relating to recidivism, 
pointing out, however, that these statistics are not quite 
complete. Nevertheless they may give a very fair idea 
of the amount of social evil caused by reversion to crime : 

Number of Recidivists. 

Percentage Growth 
of Recidivists. 



Empire . 
Kingdom of Poland 


























Those who understand the gravity of criminal recidivism 
for the state will be able to judge of the significance of 
these figures in arriving at an estimate of the moral con- 
dition of the people. 

VI. — Elements for the Renewal of the Army, 

The greater the probability of a prolonged European 
war, the more serious becomes the question of means and 
methods for the reinforcing of armies. The general con- 
clusion, formed from an examination of Russia's resources, 
was that Russia, having an almost inexhaustible reserve 
of men and horses, might sustain a prolonged war incom- 
parably better than the other states of Europe. But in 
this consideration we took into account only the average 
statistics for the whole of Russia. The question is made 
more complex by the fact that, in view of the immensity of 
Russia, the conditions for the renewal of armed forces in 
various districts must be very different, while in the event 
of a defensive war a certain portion of Russia's territory 
might be occupied by an enemy. In addition, with inter- 
rupted communications, all material for renewing armed 
forces must be obtained within the country itself. The 
question therefore naturally arises : Are they sufficient ? 

It is evident that no deficiency can arise in men. 
Means of provisioning are also so abundant as to con- 
stitute in the very beginning of war a great advantage for 
Russia, In an earlier part of our work we have given 
figures to show the advantage which Russia also possesses 
in the matter of horses. The percentage of these which 
might be used in war is more important in the present 
connection. To form some idea of this, the chart on the 
next page, showing the percentage and distribution of 
grown horses over the country, will be useful. 

Since 1864 an immense increase has taken place in the 
number of horses in the country, an inconsiderable 
decrease showing itself only in ten provinces, while all 
over the rest of the country a large increase took place, 
in certain provinces amounting to nearly 300 per cent. 




It may be said, therefore, that no Western state will find 
itself in so good a position as relates to the supply of 
horses ; and that however great may be the area occupied 
by an enemy's forces, deficiency in horses fit for military 
purposes cannot arise. 

As relates to the supply of arms it may be assumed 
that no difficulty will arise in obtaining workers, owing to 
the stagnation caused in other industries. The working 
and application of iron has grown so rapidly that no diffi- 
culty can arise in this respect. In 1890 the pig-iron 
worked amounted to SSh million poods (892,000 tons), 
manufactured iron to 25§ million poods (412,500 tons), 
while in 1895 the working of pig-iron amounted to 8y 
million poods (1,400,000 tons) (an increase of 57.5 
per cent.), and manufactured iron to 27 million poods 
(434,000 tons) (an increase of 5 per cent.). 

On the chart given on the next page is shown the dis- 
tribution of the production of iron and steel. From this 
it may be seen that the chief resources of this material 
are situated in the East, and far away from those districts 
which might be occupied by an enemy's forces. 

VII. — Conclusions. 

From the above statistics the conclusion naturally 
springs that, while the interruption of communication will 
threaten with famine and social perturbations the states of 
Western Europe, the danger to Russia is less, although 
still very serious, meaning, as it would, decrease in the 
incomes of the population and the most lamentable results 
for trade and industry. 

The incommensurate widening of the area of production 
at the expense of the area of nourishment, the replacing 
of horned cattle by horses, and the decrease of stock- 
raising generally, are factors against which must be placed 
the systematic efforts at improvement. Otherwise, in view 
of the yearly export of the products of the land and of the 
rapid growth of the population, Russia would go farther 
and farther on the path to the exhaustion of her natural 


resources and the multiplication of an agricultural pro- 

And thus Russia, although so far as the products of 
agriculture are concerned she is in a position to carry on a 
serious and prolonged struggle — such a struggle as could 
not even be dreamt of by the states of Western Europe — 
nevertheless is as interested as are those countries in 
the preservation of peace. 

In comparison vi^ith the income derived from agriculture 
the total of the income received from industries is insig- 
nificant. But in the event of a great war even this 
income must diminish to a considerable extent. In such 
industries as directly or indirectly relate to the supply and 
armament of the army there will, of course, be no stagna- 
tion. But the interruption of the supply of trans-oceanic 
cotton and various other materials, and difficulties in the 
supply of coal, will shorten the output of many articles. 
It is true that Russian industry, relying upon an internal 
sale, will not lose its market in consequence of interrupted 
communications, as English, German, and French industry 
will. But in time of war the demand on the internal 
market would undoubtedly fall, proportionately with the 
fall in incomes derived from agriculture and the general 
disruption in agricultural life. Russian industry relies 
mainly on the demands of the peasantry. Thus, even in 
times of peace every serious failure of crops causes 
stagnation. It is obvious that the diminution in the 
resources of the peasantry caused by war would react on 
industry and shorten production considerably. As a 
result of this, workers who live in poverty and absolutely 
without provision for the future will find themselves in a 
position no less terrible than that of the workers of 
Western Europe. 

Only traders, in consequence of their comparative few- 
ness, and usurers who take advantage of the backwardness 
of the agricultural population of Russia, will find that war 
creates favourable conditions, opening a wider path for 
exploitation of the popular needs. 

All this leads to the conclusion that, in consequence of a 


generally unsettled agriculture, of the primitive and already 
insufficient systems of working land, of absence of savings, 
and of indebtedness both of proprietors and of peasants, 
the economic perturbations caused by war might assume 
immense gravity. We have pointed out some of the 
conditions which in Western Europe would make a pro- 
longed war impossible. But there immense capital repre- 
senting the savings of the people, high development of 
technique, force of social activity, and at the same time of 
private enterprise, would tend towards quicker healing of 
the wounds caused by war in the popular organism. That 
this might be is shown by the history of France since the 
war of 1870-71. We may suppose that a future war 
would result even more disastrously, but it is unquestion- 
able that a strong economic organism might rapidly 
recover. It is for this reason that Western states have 
less to fear from the economic consequences which might 
arise from war than from the growth of socialism and the 
possibility of revolution. 

It is not so in Russia. The weaker the economic 
activity is, the less are its dangers from war. Where 
accumulated riches are small and economic life simple, the 
direct losses will not be so acutely felt. But for a country 
mainly agricultural, in which both peasants and proprietors 
can hardly make both ends meet even in times of peace ; a 
country burdened with indebtedness and in consequence 
cursed with forced labour ; a country where the finances 
have only lately been reduced to order, and would again 
be disorganised by a great issue of paper money — for such 
a country the consequences of war would be especially 
disastrous, and would result in an economic crisis and a 
loss of productive forces from which it would need a long 
time to recover. And thus, although Russia is not 
threatened with those revolutions which might be feared 
in Western Europe after a great war, yet the consequences 
for her of such a war would be in the highest degree 

The necessity for Russia not to fall below the other 
states in expenditure on armaments entails on her a heavier 


burden than France and Germany and even Austria have 
to bear. In those countries the war budget, however 
immense it may be, constitutes only a small part of the 
expenditure of the state, of the municipalities, of private 
associations and of village communities, on productive 
works, on improvements in agriculture and in sanitation, 
on the development of communications, trade and industry, 
and finally (although this is by no means the least important 
item) on the spread of education. In Russia, the expendi- 
ture on land and sea forces constitutes a third of the whole 
budget ; and, if we deduct the sums devoted to interest 
on the Imperial debt, we find that all expenditures which 
might in any way be productive taken together are less 
than the expenditure on armaments alone. 

In view of all these circumstances it is impossible not 
to conclude that a great European war would move Russia 
still further back in economic relations, it may be, even 
for a prolonged time. And, bearing this in mind, it may 
well be asked whether even the most successful war could 
result in sufficient compensation for such sacrifices. 

True, facts and figures demonstrate that, thanks to her 
immensity and to the nature of her soil and climate, 
Russia is less vulnerable than other countries. There 
can be no doubt that with her vast population, her 
abundant production of food and horses, and with in- 
dustries guaranteeing the equipment of her army, Russia 
might carry on a defensive war for a long time. Even 
financial conditions would not operate disadvantageously 
at first, for Russia has for a long time been accustomed 
to the circulation of paper money. All these are plainly 
advantages for Russia in a defensive war against countries 
enjoying a higher degree of culture, possessed of great 
industries and trade, but which, through deficient pro- 
duction of corn for the feeding of their populations, could 
not carry on war for years, as would certainly be possible 
for Russia. 

But in an offensive war these factors, which constitute 
an advantage for Russia in defence, would be turned into 


From detailed investigation of the economic condition of 
different districts of Russia, we came to the conclusion 
that however sensibly she were to feel the occupation by 
an enemy of her frontier provinces, such occupation could 
not produce any decided result. The opposition of Russia 
could not be broken at once, even by the irruption of 
innumerable forces. In the extreme case of the Russian 
armies experiencing such defeats as to expose the capitals, 
the vastness of the country and the immensity of its 
population would supply the means for continuing the 
struggle. The fragments of her defeated forces, retreating 
to distant centres of population, would form the nuclei of new 
armies, and the struggle would burst out again with fresh 
fierceness — and that in the very moment when the weak- 
ened and exhausted invaders were compelled to retreat. 

But it must not be assumed from this that victory, by 
means of pursuing the invaders and carrying the war into 
their own country, would be an easy task. Pursuit would 
have to be carried on through the ruined districts of Russia 
into the exhausted territory of the enemy ; while for the 
successful carrying on of an offensive war new armaments, 
war material generally, would be required, and, above 
all, armies would have to be supplied exclusively from 
purchased provisions. 

To this would have to be added financial difficulties 
almost impossible to be overcome, for the economic per- 
turbations produced by war would be of such gravity as to 
prevent the further straining of the national resources. 

Russia has now within the country, in circulation and 
on deposit, Government securities to a sum of two and a 
half milliard roubles (;!^375,ooo,ooo), and other securities 
to a sum of 1200 million roubles (;^ 1 80,000,000). On the 
declaration of war the depreciation of these securities would 
entail a loss of 1 100 millions of roubles (;^ 165,000,000). It 
is obvious that the issue of new Government loans to pro- 
vide for the immediate necessities of war would be impos- 
sible. From this would inevitably result the issue of paper 
money in immense quantities. 

The history of past wars of Russia can give no idea of 


the economic perturbations which would be caused by war 
to- day, in view of the vastness of the army and the com- 
plexity and costliness of all military apparatus. The 
occupation by an enemy of the Western and Southern 
provinces, now in the most satisfactory economic con- 
dition, and the interruption of internal communications, 
would have a tremendous effect on the receipt of the 
ordinary Imperial revenues. Even the war of 1812 
cannot be compared with the irruption into Russia of 
armies counted by millions, while the need for money 
in the present composition of the army would be unpre- 
cedented. It is enough to repeat that for the satisfaction 
of military requirements in a state of war, under present 
conditions, Russia would be compelled to spend daily 
about seven millions of roubles (;{^ 1,050,000). ^ 

As we have pointed out (in the section devoted to 
" Plans of Military Activity "), it is almost impossible to 
admit that a war with Russia could be decided in less 
than two years. For such a war lasting two years five 
milliards would be required (;/^750,ooo,ooo). The late 
N. K. Bunge, as we have already mentioned, declared 
that if credit notes were issued for 300 million roubles 
(;;^45,ooo,ooo) their value would fall 25 kopecks the 
rouble (that is, one-fourth). With the issue of paper 
money in a quantity seventeen times greater it is quite 
impossible to see the extent of depreciation. It is very 
probable, however, that depreciation would reach the same 
level as at the beginning of the present century — that is, 
that paper money issued for the carrying on of war would 
be depreciated by three-fourths of its nominal value. 
Under such circumstances even the estimated five milliards 
might prove insufficient. 

The prices of all things would rise, and the Treasury, 
receiving taxes in depreciated credit notes, would pay a 
higher price for everything ; the maintenance of the army 
and of the fleet would require immense outlays. A con- 
siderable part of the population of towns and all serving 
in the army and in the civil service would suffer from 
extreme privation. 


At the moment of the declaration of war the whole 
export of agricultural products will cease. A sudden fall 
of prices will ensue, with a proportionate diminution in 
the incomes both of landowners and of peasants. These 
phenomena will be accompanied by fluctuations in prices, 
for the standard of prices has always been determined by 
export, which will cease. When the only regulator of 
prices will be internal competition those districts will be 
in the best position where competition in trade is most 
highly developed, as is the case in the Metropolitan, 
Northern, Southern and South-Western provinces and 
also in the Southern provinces, and in the worst position 
those where trade is to a great extent a monopoly. 

In addition to the economic shock, recovery from which 
will take years, many material and moral factors which 
we have examined in detail, which have little visible 
effect in times of peace, will in the revolution which 
war causes have grave significance. 

All of which leads to the conclusion that war for 
Russia, whatever might be its issue, could not be less 
ruinous, although from other causes, than for her enemies. 
But this conclusion is not enough. A consideration 
from all points of view of the influences which war might 
exert on the economic condition of the country, leads to a 
conviction not less important — that is, that a decrease of 
expenditure on preparations for war is no less, and it may 
be even more, unavoidable in Russia than in other 
European states. 

The conversion to productive purposes of a part of the 
outlay now fruitlessly devoted to armaments — since there 
is not even a probability of war breaking out — is the first 
interest of the people, and is essential for the development 
of the vital forces of the country. These forces are 
needed by Russia for the carrying on of a successful 
struggle, not on the field of battle, but with her economic 
backwardness and the poverty and ignorance of her 
people. Progress in her internal life, and the develop- 
ment of productive forces are far more necessary for 
Russia, which, even in the case of war, would, in all 


probability, at first have to content herself with defensive 
operations, than the increase of armed hordes and the 
accumulation of implements and munitions of destruction. 
But if, even in times of peace, we find all possible 
preparations made, so that the country in time of war 
shall in no respect be behind its enemies, how much more 
necessary is it to prepare to meet those perturbations and 
difficulties of every kind which will be caused by war in 
the economic position of the country. 



A GREAT European war must react disastrously on the 
economic condition of Great Britain even in the event of 
her taking no part in that war. The interruption of 
maritime communications will affect disastrously, it may 
be even fatally, the industries of the country and the 
feeding of her population. The immense development of 
British industry is calculated upon access to the markets 
of the whole world, and relies upon the uninterrupted 
export of products. In England every cessation of export 
means a stoppage of work, involving the withdrawal of 
the means of subsistence from the greater part of her 
population. The production of wheat in that country, 
notwithstanding the increase in the population, has 
steadily diminished, diminished to such an extent that the 
stoppage of the import of wheat into England would 
threaten the whole population with famine. 

I. — Deficiency of Production. 

The diminution in the area devoted to the raising of 
grain in England may be illustrated by the following 
figures : 



In Thousands of Hectares. 

(English Equivalents, in Parentheses, in Thousands 

of Acres.) 


Area devoted to 


Raising Grain. 


















621 1 



















Thus the area of land devoted to agriculture in twenty 
years increased to the insignificant amount of 1175 thou- 
sands of acres. And not only does all this increase come 
under meadow, but under meadow we also find 2250 
thousands of acres, that is, almost one-eighth part of the 
land formerly devoted to tillage. 

The average harvests of the United Kingdom in recent 
years are shown in thousands of quarters in the following 
table : 






Oats . 





Barley . 





Wheat . 





Beans . 










The average yearly harvest, expressed in kilogrammes 
is shown by the following figures : 



Oats . 
Peas . 

282,537 thousand kilos. 
116,078 ,, 

79>324 „ 

9.360 .. 


The import into England of bread stuffs is shown in 
thousands of kilogrammes in the following table : 





Grain — 

Wheat . 





Barley . 










Maize . 





Others . 





Flour — 






Others . 





Total . 





This table, in thousands of English quarters (reckoning 
I kilogramme as equal to 22 lbs.), would be as follows : 





Grain — 

Wheat . 










Oats . 















Flour — 

Wheaten . 










Total . 






From this table it is seen that the import of bread stuffs 
to satisfy the requirements of the population continually 
grows. The import of wheat is more than ten times 
greater than the home growth : of oats alone the home 
production exceeds the import in the proportion of three 
to two. If we calculate the number of days on which 
bread would be lacking in England if she were forced to 
rely alone upon her own harvests, it will appear that 
England would be without wheat for 333 days, with- 
out barley for 263 days, and without oats for 140 

A more favourable result is obtained by a comparison 
of the growth and import of potatoes. The growth approxi- 
mately expressed in thousands of tons amounts to 

1893 6541 

1894 4^62 

1895 7065 

Average . . . 6089 

The import of potatoes is shown by the following 
figures : 

In 1893 142 thousand tons. 

In 1894 135 ». » 

As concerns meat, England is still less dependent on 
products from abroad. The number of head of cattle and 
sheep imported into England is shown by the following 
table : 



1880 . 

. 389.724 


1885 . 

• 373,078 


i8go . 

■ 642,596 


1893 . 

• 340,045 


1894 . 

• 475,440 


In addition to this, England imports a quantity of carcases 
here set out in thousands of hundredweights : 







Bacon .... 

Beef .... 

Salt, and other sorts of 
fresh meat 

Meat dried and in pre- 

Fresh pork . 













In order to illustrate the relation between the import 
and production of meat in England, we give the following 
totals, it being understood that, following the general 
principle, ten sheep or pigs or fifteen hundredweight of 
meat are considered as a head of cattle. 

The number of cattle held in England are presented by 
the following tables : 

In Thousands. K^SuS.- 

Cows 2,486 

Horned cattle of two years and over 1,432 

,, ,, from one to two 

years . . . 1,190 

i, „ less than one year 1,247 

6,355 = 6,355 
Sheep and rams one year old and 

over 15,997 

Lambs 9,795 


25,792 = 2,579 
2,884 = 288 


By this process of reducing all stock to units we find 
that England possessed in 1895, 9222 thousand head of 
native cattle. The import into England in 1894 was 523 
thousand head of living cattle, and 10,608 thousand 
hundredweight of meat of different sorts, representing 


707 thousand head of cattle. That is to say, the import 
into England amounted to 1230 thousand head of cattle, 
or 13 per cent, of the number in the country. 

Number of Native and Imported Cattle in England in Thousattds 
of Heads. 




From this it appears that as far as the supply of meat 
is concerned England would be guaranteed, even in the 
event of import being interrupted ; but prices would rise 
immensely, as English cattle is very valuable, and meat in 
that country is dear even at the present day. 

Of other products for which the raising of cattle is 
necessary, England requires yearly : 

In Thousands of Hundredweights. 





Butter .... 


Cheese .... 

Tallow .... 



1 109 

1 163 

With such an immense demand it will be no easy task 
to supply the interrupted import by increased internal 
output. In these respects there would undoubtedly arise 
great difficulty in the supply of the population. A similar 
deficiency would exist in the supply of various colonial 
products. England imports : 







Rice, in looo's of cwts. 





Cocoa „ lbs. 





Coffee „ cwts. 





Tea „ lbs. 





Sugar „ cwts. 





Raw silk „ „ 





Molasses,, „ 





Glucose ,, ,, 





Rum „ gals. 





Cognac ,, „ 





Other spirituous 

drinks (colonial 

and foreign), in 

thousands of gals. 





Wine (in ditto) 





A clearer picture is presented by the following table, 
which shows the average consumption per inhabitant of 
the United Kingdom of imported articles of food and 
drink : 

Imported Products. 





(in lbs.) 




Beef, fresh and salted 





Smoked and preserved meat „ 




Mutton, fresh . 




Pork, fresh and salt 



1. 12 

Butter and margarine 








Cheese . 












V^heat in grain 




Wheaten flour 




Currants and raisins 




Eggs . . . ( 





Potatoes . 

(in lbs.) 









Sugar, raw 







Imported Products. 




Sugar, refined . . (in lbs.) 




Tea M 




Tobacco . . . . ). 




Wine . . . (in gallons) 




Spirituous liquors . „ 




Wine and strong drinks 

together (imported) . „ 




II, — Pall of Wages and Incomes. 

In England the cost of the first necessaries of life is 
high, and the means for obtaining them constantly 

The population of the United Kingdom is engaged in 
the following occupations, per thousand of the population 
of all ages : 



Scotland. Ireland. 


Liberal professions 

Domestic service . 

Trade .... 

Agriculture and fish- 
eries .... 


Without settled occu- 
















1000 1000 


In view of the importance of the question we will present 
these figures graphically. 



Classification by Occupation of 1000 of the Population of 
Great Britain. 

fessions "'• 



Trade 4'^ 











The existence of an income tax in England has resulted 
in the compiling of precise statistics which give some idea 
of the perturbation which war would cause. We quote 
here some of the more apposite figures. The yearly 
value of the real estate, capital and earnings subject to 
this tax is shown in pounds sterling in the following 

Ireland . 

United Kingdom 

/■6o2, 388,699 

;f7o6, 1 30,875 

Out of this total of 706 millions sterling, 263 millions 
arise from the possession or lease of land and immovable 
propert}^, 91 millions from pensions and salaries, and the 
remaining 352 millions from industrial and professional 


Dislribntion of the Inaniic of the Puptilutioii of England in 
Millions oj Pounds Sterling. 

Krom I .and 

ami Inimoval)!e 


From Pensions! 



From I'ro- 
fessions and 





These figures bear eloquent testimony to the tremendous 
economic earthquake which war and the resulting decrease 
and even stoppage of industrial activity would create in 
England. On the other hand it must be borne in mind 
that the reserves of money are greater in England than 
anywhere else ; the whole public debt is placed inside the 
country, and an immense total of foreign values is held. 

But a very grave circumstance presents itself in the 
fact that these resources are in the hands of a very small 
number of persons. Precise statistics as to the distribu- 
tion of the public debt of Great Britain are available 
only up to i88o. But these statistics show that the 
number of persons who receive interest on the public debt 


In 1855. 

In 1880. 

Up to 5 

. 83,877 . 








, 100 



, 200 






. 500 



, 1000 



, 2000 



Over 2000 





Thus we find that the number of proprietors of consols 



has increased only in the two highest categories, and in 
all the lower has decreased. It may be assumed that this 
phenomenon continues the same to-day. 

The sums deposited in the Post Office 

Savings Bank amounted to . 
In Savings Banks .... 


The number of depositors is : 

In the Post Office Savings Bank 
In Savings Banks 







State of Savings in Great Britain in 1895. 

Depositors in Millions. 

Deposits in Millions of Pounds Sterling. 



However it may be, the distribution of riches in England 
is more unequal than in any other country. Even in time 
of peace, with normal conditions, the state, various philan- 
thropic institutions and societies are forced to give monetary 
assistance to a considerable part of the population to an 
extent unheard of among the peoples of the Continent. 
The following figures relating to January 1895 show the 
number of poor receiving help (with the exception of 
tramps) from the Boards of Guardians : 

England and Wales 
Scotland . 




The danger in the event of a great economic upheaval 
is all the greater since the unquiet elements crowd into 


the cities, and the population of the towns in Great 
Britain exceeds the population of the country, at the 
expense of which they constantly grow, as is shown by 
the statistics relating to Scotland, where in the decade 
1 881-91 the urban population increased by 324,446, and 
the village population by 17,952, while the country popula- 
tion decreased by 52,324. 

It is impossible owing to the absence of statistics to 
show in similar form the change in the distribution of the 
population of the entire United Kingdom. But there is 
sufficient indication that the position there is similar to 
that of Scotland. In England and Wales in 1891 the 
country population consisted of 8,198,248 souls, that is to 
say, only 28.3 per cent, of the whole, while the urban 
population consisted of 71.7 per cent. Thus two-thirds 
of the population of Great Britain resides within towns. 
In addition to that it must be noted that the proportion of 
women to men in towns is 7 per cent, greater than in the 
country, and it is well known that in times of crises women 
constitute the least tranquil element. 

Statistics show that in the towns of England is crowded 
an immense number who do not wish to work, and a still 
greater number who cannot find work. To this idle 
crowd will join the workers discharged from factories and 
workshops on the shortening of work. An approximate 
idea may be formed of their number by the fact that 
in the weaving industry alone 1,084,000 persons are 
employed, in the number being 428,000 men and 656,000 

The majority of this working class is engaged in 
factories, of which the largest group constitutes cotton- 
spinning, weaving, and printing. It is this work which 
must cease in the event of the interruption of the import 
of material by sea. Bankruptcy in industrial circles will 
inevitably appear, as such factories are not guaranteed by 
sufficient reserves of capital. 

The system of joint-stock companies in recent times has 
made possible an immense development of trade and 
industry. In the report of the Commission appointed by 


the Board of Trade the number of joint-stock companies 
on the 1st of April, 1894, is given as 18,361, with a total 
capital of ;^i,035,029,835, while in France the total capital 
of such companies is ;:f420,cxx>,ooo only, and in Germany 
from ^200,000,000 to ;^300,ooo,ooo. 

1 1 1 . — Conclusions. 

If the waters which wash the British Isles ensure a 
greater security than the frontiers of the Continent, never- 
theless they place the country in direct dependence from 
uninterrupted and regular maritime communication. The 
immense fleet of Great Britain, although guarding her 
against the attacks of an enemy, cannot guarantee the 
security of her merchant vessels in all the waters of the 
world. A few swift cruisers would be enough to interrupt 
the maritime trade of Great Britain. And with the 
immense development of English industry, and the insuffi- 
cient local production of food stuffs, the stoppage of 
maritime communications would threaten England with 
stoppage of work, would involve a great rise in the price 
of provisions, and terminate in famine. 

In such events attempts even at revolution are probable, 
all the more probable because the British army is small, 
recruited from the lowest ranks of the population and 
composed of hired soldiers. In the English army cases 
of general insubordination have been by no means 

In addition to this, a considerable agitation in England 
is carried on against the burdens enforced on the popula- 
tion by the army needed for the preservation of British 
power in subject countries, and more particularly by the 
gigantic fleet. Yet the expenditure on armaments con- 
tinually grows, as the following table shows : 

1864-5 .... ;f35,28l,000 

1874-5 .... 25,779,cxx) 

1884-5 .... 27,000,000 

1S94-5 .... 35,449,000 


Expenditure of England on A rmed Forces in Millions of Pound 


In 1864-5 

In 1S74-5 

In 1884-5 

In 1S94-5 




Thus in the ten years period 1 884-1 894 the expenditure 
on armaments has increased by ;^8,449,ooo sterling. In 
addition to this a yearly expenditure of ;^ 18,000,000 
represents the result of former wars, and agitators lose 
no opportunity of calling attention to it. In 1727, at the 
death of George I. the public debt, increased in con- 
sequence of the Spanish war, stood at ;^52, 500,000, and 
the interest at ;^2, 360,000. In 1775, before the war with 
the American colonies, the debt was ^126,000,000 capital, 
and ^^4,650,000 interest. This vast increase was the 
consequence of another war with Spain over the right 
claimed by England of searching merchant ships, after- 
wards of a war with France over the Austrian legacy, and 
finally from the action she took during the Seven Years 
War. It is interesting to note that in the second of these 
wars England helped Maria Theresa against Frederick II., 
and in the last Frederick II. against Maria Theresa. 

In 1792, before the beginning of the long war with 
France, the public debt of England amounted to 
;i^237, 400,000, paying interest at ;^9,300,ooo, an increase 
mainly resulting from the war with her North American 
Colonies. And this war in reality was caused because 
the proprietorial classes in England, predominating in 


Parliament, desired to shift the burden of increasing 
taxation upon the shoulders of others. 

In 1816 — that is, the year after the battle of Waterloo — 
the debt of England amounted to ;^846,ooo,ooo in capital, 
with yearly interest of ;^ 3 2, 100,000. 

The war with France which cost such immense sums 
arose from the interference of England in the struggle 
against the French Revolution, in which the propertied 
classes who ruled England saw a danger to their privileges 
and to their exploitation of the whole country. The duty 
on imported corn set in time of war was kept in force by 
the landlord class even after the end of the war, mainly in 
order to sustain the high price of corn, and in consequence 
the high incomes from their property. 

In 1854, at the beginning of the Crimean war, the debt 
of England had decreased to ;i^794,7 13,000 capital, paying 
a yearly interest of ^^25, 662,000. In 1856, on the con- 
clusion of peace, it had risen to ;^826,ooo,ooo capital, 
with ;^25, 545,000 interest. This war also was waged in 
no way in the interests of the English people. Finally, in 
1893 the debt of England (not including the value of her 
shares in the Suez Canal) amounted to ;^658,944,000 
capital, paying an interest of ;^ 18, 302,000. 

From the above statistics it is shown that as long as 
the aristocracy carried on war itself, and bore the 
expenses, a public debt did not exist. Afterwards, thanks 
to its numerical preponderance in Parliament, it succeeded 
in managing so that, however great might be the 
expenditure of the state, the sum of tax from the land 
should not exceed two million pounds yearly ; the debt 
began to rise, and war after war followed. These wars 
were directly advantageous to the aristocracy, as they 
increased employment in the army, and in addition 
resulted in raising the price of corn. 



In order to explain the economic and social consequences 
which would result from war in Germany, it is necessary 
first to examine the distribution of the population accord- 
ing to occupation, the height of incomes, and probability 
of savings, and then to consider how a war would shorten 
demands, decrease the sale of products, and in consequence 
cause stagnation in industry. 

We have already pointed out that the interruption of 
land and sea communications must cause an immense rise 
in the price of agricultural products, particularly in indus- 
trial districts. And as at the same time work will cease, 
the danger of disaster will be great. To a certain extent 
government aid may be relied upon. But whether this 
will be effective or not depends upon the gravity of the 
crisis produced by war. 

The question as to satisfaction of the needs of life con- 
cerns only those classes which are imperfectly guaranteed 
— that is, to those with insufficient and moderate incomes ; 
the wealthy class will always be safe as regards the neces- 
saries of life. 

The following table represents the distribution of the 
population by occupation in 1882 : 


of the 

J I Agriculture .... 40.75 
■ (Arboriculture. . . • 0.65 




(Mining . 
Building . 
Manufacture . 

III. Trade . 


Engaged in medical, educa 

tional, and religious pursuits 


Military .... 


of the 






1. 17 

V. In service .... 4.30 
VI. Without regular occupation . 4.67 

Thus we have six main classes as follows : 




Per Cent. 

41.40 I 







Per Cent. 



The effect on the first of these classes will be compara- 
tively small. But owing to the bonds joining to a certain 
extent all classes of the population, the crisis called forth 
by war may in the course of time react even upon the 
agricultural population. The first consequence of the rise 
in prices will be an increase in the income of this class of 
the population. Part of the agricultural labourers will be 
taken from work, but these may be replaced by contingents 
of men engaged in industry, who will be deprived of work 
in consequence of the shortening of production. 

The fifth class is also comparatively secure, since in 
consequence of mobilisation a deficiency of such will 

The third class, engaged in trade, may also be regarded 
as secured, since war, while lessening certain forms of 
activity, will give rise to others. But individually, members 


of this class will suffer greatly. As the crisis entailed by 
war approaches there will be lessened activity in trade, 
the prices of goods will fall, and only those traders who 
happen to have reserves of products required for the 
army, or products the import of which will be stopped, 
will draw advantage. Generally speaking, in consequence 
of sudden changes in prices immense difficulties will arise 
in trade. 

The second class — that is, those engaged in industrial 
undertakings, either as masters or servants — will suffer the 
most. The greater part of this class is composed of 
persons occupied in factory work, and these will suffer 
immense losses. And the proportion of this group to the 
general population of Germany is very considerable, 
amounting to 40.08 per cent. It must be borne in mind 
that these figures relate to the whole of Germany, and 
that in various parts of the country the proportions are 
very different. Occupied in agriculture we find : 

In Saxony . . ig.y per cent, of the population. 
In Posen . .63.1 „ ,, „ 

On the other hand, we find 16 per cent, of the popula- 
tion is occupied in industries in one province, and as 
much as 62 per cent, in others. The proportions occupied 
in trade in different parts of the country, excluding the 
great centres, fluctuate between 57 and 11 per cent. 

It will be understood that the greater the proportion 
occupied in industry, the greater the crisis caused by war. 
In some of the great industrial localities the stoppage of 
work may cause serious disorders such as happened in 
June 1848, and March 1871 in Paris. 

That stagnation and inevitable crisis in industry will be 
caused by war is inevitable, for certain reasons. The 
increase in the price of provisions in consequence of the 
interruption of communications will immediately diminish 
the purchasing resources of the population. On the 
declaration of war all state, commercial, and industrial 
securities will be depreciated, want of money will be 


seriously felt, and the rate of discount will be raised. 
The more highly developed the trade and industry, the 
greater will be the perturbations caused and the more 
numerous will be cases of failure. Generally speaking, 
not only will the credit of the state, but the credit of 
all private individuals in all classes of society, be im- 

The following forms of industry will suffer most of all : 

Working and manufacture of metals 

Machine building . . . . 

Chemical manufacture 

Spinning and weaving 

Leather working and paper making 

Manufacture from wood . 


Preparation of clothing 



Does there exist among the German working classes 
such savings as would make the stoppage of work called 
forth by war unfelt ? The accumulation of savings 
depends upon national and individual character, and also 
upon the level of work in normal times. The thrift of the 
Germans is unquestioned. But a considerable part of the 
population receives insignificant wages, which only satisfy 
their daily needs ; and among this class there can hardly 
be any savings. 

The existence in Prussia of an income tax, and the 
corresponding statistics, make it possible to judge of the 
distribution of income among the population, and con- 
clusions drawn from Prussia may be applied approximately 
to the rest of Germany. The following figures relate to 
the year 1 890 : 

Proportion of the 

Population. Average Income. 

Incomes insufficient . 40.11 per cent. ... 197 m. (/"g 17s.) 

„ small . . 54.05 „ ... 276 „ {£is i6s.) 

,, moderate . 4.81 „ ... 896 ,, {£44. i6s.) 

„ considerable 1.3 „ ... 2781 „ (£i39 i^-) 

Thus we see that 40 per cent, of the population belong 
to the necessitous class, while 54 per cent, have small 


incomes, and are hardly in a position to save. The 
average income of an individual of the first class is only 
197 marks {£g 17s.), and of the second class only 276 marks 
(£iS i6s.). 

For the more precise exposition of this matter let us 
take a province with developed industries. The following 
figures relate to the kingdom of Saxony. In 1894 ^^e 
number of persons in Saxony receiving incomes was 
estimated at 1,496,566. The number of these 

Who did not pay income tax was only . 85,849 or 5.7 % 

Having incomes under 600 m. (£30) . . 633,929 „ 42.4 „ 

„ from 600 to 2200 m. (/"no) 675,862 „ 45.2,, 

» ,,2200 to 6300,, (^315) 79,928 „ 5.3,, 

The incomes of the population of Saxony are thus 
distributed : 

From landed property . 287 mill. m. (/■i4,35o,ooo) or 22.5 % 
„ capital . . 220 „ „ (/"i 1,000,000) ,, 17.2 „ 

„ salary and wages 771 „ „ (2"38,55o>ooo) „ 60.3 „ 

1278 „ „ (;C63, 900,000) „ 100 „ 

From this it will be easily seen what convulsions 
would be caused by the stoppage of work. The following 
are the figures relating to all Germany. The general 
income of the population estimated on the years 1893-94 
amounted to 5,725,338,364 marks (;^286,266,9i8 45.). 
This income was distributed as follows : 

Urban population . 3878 million m. (/"193, 900,000) or 68 % 
Country „ . 1846 „ „ (;f92,3oo,ooo) „ 32 „ 

In 1866 the total income amounted to 3,600,000,000 
marks (;^ 1 8o,ooo,ooo) and was distributed thus : 

Urban population . 1620 million m. (/"Si, 000,000) or 45 % 
Country „ . 1980 „ „ (^99,000,000) „ 55 „ 

Thus, when in 1866 the incomes of the urban popula- 
tion of Germany amounted to 45 per cent, of the general 


income, the crisis caused by war affected only ;i^8 1 ,ooo,ocx) 
of the income of the people. To-day such a crisis would 
threaten an income of ;^ 193,900,000, for now not a half 
but two-thirds of the general income proceeds from 
industry and trade. 

All this indicates a position by no means favourable. 
But it is improved by the fact that the amount of savings 
is considerable. Thus in Saxony in 1893 the number of 
pass books issued by the savings banks was 1,783,390. 
The average deposit was ;{^i8 9s. But though the 
existence of such savings is favourable as an economic 
phenomenon, it could hardly serve to stave off the crisis 
naturally resulting from war. The average deposit, 
;;^i8 gs., is too small. In addition, it must be borne in 
mind that the savings banks would not be in a position to 
meet a general or even a very large withdrawal of 
deposits. The deposits in these savings banks amount to 
;^32, 900,000, of which over ;^25, 000,000 is placed on 
mortgage, and ;^63, 500,000 in the public funds. It is 
obvious that to realise these mortgages in a short time 
would be impossible, while state securities in a time of 
war could only be sold at an immense loss. The associa- 
tions and individuals to whom the remainder of the 
money is lent would not be able in a moment of crisis 
to repay their loans, and only the cash in the offices of 
the savings banks — that is, but ;f 3 50,000 — would be at 
the disposal of the depositors. 

It is very necessary to note that in those industrial 
localities where the stoppage of work would be felt most 
acutely, the Socialist teaching and propaganda are most 
widely spread. 

With such a state of affairs, what could the govern- 
ment and society do to lessen the disaster ? A certain 
number of hands deprived of industrial work might be 
turned to agriculture, and replace the agricultural 
labourers summoned to the colours. But, in the first 
place, only the strongest of the manufacturing class could 
turn to labour in the field, and the vast majority is unfit 
for such work. In addition, such men would unwillingly 



take to field labour, all the more so because the treatment 
of agricultural labourers in Germany is inferior to that to 
which factory hands have been accustomed. 

To organise public works on a great scale is a difficult 
task. And the very nature of such works by which the 
state might undertake to help the unemployed is by no 
means fit for all. Public works require either great physical 
strength or special training. And workmen who have been 
engaged in weaving, in spinning, or in the manufacture of 
chemicals would, for the greater part, be incapable of 
work with the crowbar, the pickaxe and the wheel- 
barrow. The experience of Paris in 1848 in this respect 
is instructive. When workmen formerly engaged in 
trades which required only attention and some dexterity 
were given pickaxes and spades, it was found they could 
not stand the bent position of the bodj', and soon had 
their hands raw from the friction of the tools. The 
government may give aid to the families of soldiers on 
service, but obviously cannot feed the whole of the 
unemployed population. 

It must be noted that in Germany, in the number of 
persons receiving incomes, the proportion of women is 
very considerable. Out of every thousand persons 
occupied in industry, trade and manufacture respectively, 
176, 190, and 312 are women. The number of women is 
especially great in the lower and ill-paid forms of work. 
The greater part of the women are engaged in the follow- 
ing industries : 

Percentage of 

Number of 

Total Number of 

Women Engaged. 


Making, repairing, and cleaning 

of clothing .... 551,303 


Spinning and weaving 



Trade .... 



Hotels and buffets 


45 -o 

Preparation of food products 



Paper making . 



Stone working . 






In general in Germany the rate of wages is very low, 



the yearly earnings of individuals engaged in industry 
fluctuating between £"^0 6s. and ;^5o 25., which to the 
large families of the German working classes means 
poverty. Women workers in Germany receive much less 
than men, generally less than a shilling a day, while no- 
where except in Anhalt do the daily earnings of women 
reach two shillings. If 24 shillings a week be considered 
moderate payment, over 24 shillings high, and under 
15 shillings low, the distribution of workers according 
to these categories appears : 




Men and women together 

Men separately .... 

Women separately 









In view of the importance of this question we present 
the result graphically : 

Classification of Workers in Germany according to Wages. 
Men. Women. 


From this it will be seen that women receive much 
lower wages than men. Less than a fifth part (1976 out 
of 99.2) receive more than 10 shillings a week, while 70 
per cent, receive less than 10 shillings, and more than 
half receive less than 8 shiUings a week. To such 
women, living independently, the cost of lodging and 



food is not less than 5 shillings a week. It will be 
seen how little remains out of weekly earnings of 
6 to 8 shillings, for clothing, against sickness, and for 
other unforeseen contingencies. 

Thus it cannot be expected that on a stoppage of 
work caused by war the workers of Germany could find 
any considerable resource in their savings. In particular 
this will be the case with the women workers, and it must 
be borne in mind that in times of disorder women always 
appear as a dangerous element. The assistance which 
the government grants to the women whose fathers and 
husbands have been called away to the army will be 
insignificant, especially in view of the rise in the price of 
food of which we have above spoken. 

It is very probable that the condition of the working 
classes in Germany will constantly deteriorate. It is true 
that emigration to America in recent years has fallen off, as 
the following diagram shows. 

Emigration from Germany to A merica in Thousands. 








But such a decrease took place in consequence of the 
difficulties with which emigration was attended. In view 
of the immense development of German industry, and 
of the raising of protective duties in other countries, 
Germany, in order to keep her place in the foreign 


markets, has been forced to work and sell more cheaply. 
The lowering in the price of manufactured goods has had 
its natural consequence in a fall of wages. This in itself 
is a misfortune. But when we add the misfortunes of war, 
which will shorten work even at low wages, it is difficult 
to foresee the consequences. 

It is necessary also to consider how war will react on 
the interests of the propertied classes in Germany. Their 
savings are very considerable, and the German debt is 
almost all held in Germany. War will produce a great 
panic on the money market, and the value of the securities 
in which are invested the savings of the propertied classes 
will be greatly depreciated. To carry on war it will 
be necessary to obtain a loan of fifty millions sterling, 
and, in the event of failure, it may be of several times 
this sum to pay contributions. And even in the event of 
a successful war those loans which will be issued for 
carrying on operations can be placed only at low prices. 
So early there can be no assurance of victory, while 
defeat might entail the disruption of the German Empire. 

It need hardly be pointed out that shares in industrial 
undertakings will fall even more than government securi- 
ties. But in addition to government funds and industrial 
securities, foreign securities are held in Germany to an 
immense amount. Since the introduction of a stamp 
duty on foreign securities, on their admission on the 
German Bourses, vast quantities of such securities have 
been acquired. Between 1882 and 1892 foreign papers 
were presented for stamping to the value of 20,731 
million marks (;if i ,036, 5 50,0(X)), of which 5644 millions of 
marks (;^282, 200,000) were actually stamped, that is, 
admitted officially on the Bourse. In this number were 
admitted securities of countries which might take part 
in a war. 

Russian . . 1003 million marks (;^50, 150,000). 

Italian . . . 968 ., ,, (;r48,400,ooo). 

Austrian . . 660 ,, ,, (^33,000,000). 

.Turkish . . 266 „ ,, (2"i 3,300,000). 

Servian ... 57 » " (^'2,850,000). 



We will present this graphically : 

Value of Foreign Securities stamped in Germany in Millions 
of Marks. 

Of course not all of the securities stamped in Germany 
remained there in circulation. But if this be so, they have 
been replaced by others, since local capital still continues 
to seek advantageous investments. 

The immense quantities of government and trading- 
industrial securities, both local and foreign, circulating in 
countries where the propertied classes are numerous and 
dispose of immense savings, increase the risk of war for 
such countries, and accentuate the crisis which it will 
cause. Thus in Germany an unsuccessful war would 
result in immense losses in such securities, and in those 
which would be issued to meet military necessities. But 
even in the event of a successful war, Germany would 
sustain great losses in the securities of those countries 
which had lost. 



A CONSIDERATION of the econoiiiic convulsions which war 
would cause in France is not only very important in itself, 
but instructive in view of the fact that France has within 
recent times felt the whole burdens of a war. Judging by 
appearances, it might be supposed that a future war would 
have precisely those consequences which the war of 1870 
produced. A detailed consideration of the results of the 
war of 1 870, and of the degree of economic prosperity of 
France before and after that war, would show with what 
caution such a judgment must be received. 

The change of rule in 1871 had a favourable influence 
on the economic life of the country. Although for a long 
time it was feared that the Germans would take advantage 
of the first pretext to declare war again and effectively 
restrain the military development of France, these fears in 
no way hindered the economic regeneration of the country. 
Disappearance of the dread of those political adventures 
so long carried on by Napoleon III. ; the general tenden- 
cies of the new government encouraging the spread of 
education and economic prosperity ; the keen struggles of 
political parties which prevented the unpunished violation 
of the law— all these in no small measure helped the 
development of France. The very loss of Alsace-Lorraine 
reacted favourably on her trade and industry. In those 
provinces industry was so highly developed that they 
furnished the rest of France with their products. With 
the foundation of the Republic began a great increase 



in other localities in the production of goods formerly 
obtained from Alsace and Lorraine. 

In this time, also, when the prosperity of foreign and 
especially of trans-oceanic countries increased rapidly, 
there began an increased demand for French articles of 
luxury and fashion. The following diagram illustrates 
the position of French trade since i860 : 

Imports and Exports of France in Millions of Francs. 



Thus statistics show us that the loss of Alsace-Lorraine 
had no considerable influence. The exports in the period 
1869-73 increased at a greater rate than in the period 
1860-69. From that time the increase of exports con- 
tinued uninterruptedly to 1891, after which we find a 
decrease, caused by the protectionist policy of Europe. 
These fluctuations became still more noticeable if we take 
the average yearly increase of imports and exports in the 
period 1860-69 at 100, and show the corresponding figures 
for the following years : 

Absolute Figures of 
Increase or Decrease 

of Imports in 
Millions of Francs. 

In the period 1860-69 
„ 1865-73 

« 1873-91 

„ 1891-94 

+ 150 
+ 142 
+ 41 

4- 100 

+ 94-7 
+ 27.3 
- 1 16.7 

Absolute Figures of 
Increase or Decrease 

of Exports in 
Millions of Francs. 

4-94 4-100 
4-207 4-220.2 

- I - I.I 

- 226 - 240.4 



If instead of values which change we take the quantity 
of imports and exports, we receive results indicated by the 
following diagram : 

Trade of France in Thousands of Tons. 





But these figures give no precise idea as to French 
trade. The following table is more detailed : 






Cheese, butter, margarine 

(in thousands of tons) 





Coal and coke ,, ,, 





Coffee ,, ,, 





Cotton, raw ,, ,, 





Cotton manufactures 

(in thousands of pounds 






Flax „ „ 





Guano and manure 

(in thousands of tons) 





Hides and fur ,, „ 





Cotton yarn 

(in thousands of pounds 






Silk manufactures ,, ,, 


1 120 



Woollen „ „ ,, 












Meat (in thousands of tons) 
Silk, raw „ „ 
Sugar „ 
Tallow, &c. 
Wool „ „ 
















In comparing yearly statistics it is necessary to bear in 
mind that certain articles of import diminished owing to 
the development of industry within the country, and were 
partly replaced by other imports. Thus the diminished 
import of sugar is explained by the production of beet- 
sugar at home, which increased from 3833 million kilogrs. 
(3.833,000 tons) in 1873-74 to 5148 million kilogrs. 
(5,148,000 tons) in 1893-94. 

The following two diagrams show the fluctuations in 
the external trade of France since 1883, in millions of 
francs : 

French Trade in Millions of Francs. 

-1885. 1892-9^. 






1 H 

factured p 















The revenue of France, which may be considered as a 
measure of the prosperity of the population, is shown in 
the following diagram : 

Revenue and Expenditure of France in Millions of Francs. 





1 86 1 







A striking example of financial self-sufficiency is pre- 
sented by France. The war, the Commune, the payment 
of five milliards (;i{;'200,ooo,CX)o), the payment of the ex- 
penses of the war, the reorganisation of the army, the 
reform of the government in all its departments — all 
this required immense expenditure, yet France found all 
these resources within herself 

The debt of France has grown immensely, as is shown 
by the following diagram : 


Debt of France in Millions of Francs. 



Thus since 1871 the debt of France has grown by 
ahnost 14 milliards of francs (;^ 560,000,000). All this 
sum was found within the country, and in addition, 
immense sums were invested in industrial undertakings 
and in foreign loans. 

As a measure of the increase of wealth in France we 
may take the statistics of the savings banks. The number 
of depositors and the amount of deposits are shown in the 
following table and diagram : 

Pass Books. 





-95 • 



711,000,000 fr. 
3,260,000,000 „ 

in France. 



imber of Depositors' Books 
in Millions. 

Deposits in Millions 
of Francs. 



Consideration of other statistics confirms the general 
belief as to the increase of wealth in France. In France the 
transfer of estates is subjected to a duty. The following 



diagram shows the value of estates passing by legacy and 
gift in France in millions of francs : 

Average value of Properties passing by Legacy and Gift iti 
Millions of Francs. 





From these brief statistics it may be concluded that 
France has borne the heavy losses caused by the war of 
1870 much more easily than any other state could have 

The economic consequences of war would be much more 
easily borne in France than in other countries if it were 
not for a whole series of unfavourable circumstances, 
thanks to which the image of war appears not less 
threatening for her than for every other country. The 
interruption of communications will be alone sufficient to 
strike a deadly blow to industry. The moment export and 
import by sea have ceased the price of the necessaries of 
life will rise, the springs of income will be dried up, and 
many different industries will be unable to continue the 
production and sale of their goods. The theatre of war 
will become a closed market. In the country itself the 
demand for manufactured articles will decrease, not only 
owing to the fall in the income of the majority of the 
population, living from day to day, but also owing to the 
natural indisposition of the propertied classes to unneces- 
sary expenditure in time of war. Factories, mines, and 
workshops, with the exception of those whose products 
are necessary for the equipment of armies, will be com- 
pelled to decrease their output. It must be remembered 
that in France a great number of foreigners are engaged 



in industry. The production of these in time of war would 
also cease. In certain industries the number of foreigners 
rises as high as 22 per cent. Another circumstance which 
must have a serious influence and cause great difficulties, 
is that a high percentage of the population will be sum- 
moned under the colours. 

The following diagram illustrates the distribution by 
occupations of the population of France in 1886 : 

Distribution of the French Population according to Occupation 
in 1886. 






: 1.6 






From this we see that nearly half the population of 
France is engaged in agriculture. The agricultural 
class of the population is divided into the following 


classes : Large and small proprietors, farmers and hired 
labourers. Of 17,698,000 persons belonging to this class, 
the labourers number about 2,772,000 men. In a country 
where landed property is distributed among a large number 
of families, peasant proprietors constitute the chief part of 
the population, and wages are comparatively low every- 
where excepting in those departments where large 
farming prevails. The struggle for existence in this 
class of the population is much less serious than it was 
twenty years ago in many departments. Although agri- 
cultural labourers suffer less than factory hands from 
uncertainty as to regular work, their life on the whole is 
more difficult owing to the fact that they, while knowing 
the extent of their earnings, are deprived of all hope of 
improving their position. The peasant proprietor, the 
corner-stone of France, is bad material for agitation, but 
the hired labourer is in a very different position. It must 
not be thought, however, that in the event of war no danger 
for the state would arise from the agricultural class. 
The fact is that the agricultural population is not in a 
position to feed itself out of the land. Investigations 
made in 1882 showed that out of 5,672,007 registered 
agricultural properties 2,167,667 were of an area of less 
than a hectare (two and a half acres), and 1,865,878 were 
of an area of one to five hectares (from two and a half to 
twelve and a half acres). A detailed examination of these 
statistics would considerably reduce the number of small 
properties ; but it would still show that 1,700,000 persons 
of this class are little removed from the position of 
agricultural labourers. 

Still the danger to the state from the agricultural popu- 
lation will be small. Of other classes of the population 
this cannot be said. In order to be convinced of this it is 
only necessary to consider the distribution of the incomes 
of the population. 



I. Personal Earnings. 

3,434,938 agricultural labourers . 

3,834,580 workers engaged in indus- 
try, trade, and transport . 

1,132,076 serving for wages 

1,950,208 domestic servants 

3,700,000 small landowners, artisans, 
traders, porters, soldiers, 
sailors, lower officials, 
teachers, and others, whose 
earnings little exceed the 
earnings of labourers 

Millions of 

2,000 (;^8o,ooo,ooo) 
3,600 (/■i44,ooo,ooo) 

1,000 (;f 40,000, 000) 

1,400 (^56,000,000) 

4,000 (;^ I 60,000,000) 

II. Capitalists. 

1,683,192 landed proprietors from^ 
35 to 4I milliards 

1, 009,914 manufacturers, merchants, 
and others, from 3^ to 4^ 
milliards . 

1,053,025 of private propertj', ren- 
tiers, and free profes- 
sions, from 2^ to 3 
milliards . 

V 10,500 (;^420,000,000 



22,500 (;{"90o,ooo,ooo) 

These figures, of course, are only approximately correct, 
but they may serve as a basis for determining different 
influences on the economic condition of the people. We 
see that the whole 10^ milliards (;^420,ooo,ooo) when 
divided among 3,746,131 capitalists represents only 
2800 francs (^^112) the family. Leroy-Beaulieu sup- 
poses that in all France there are only 700 or 800 
persons with incomes of 250,000 francs (;i^ 10,000) or 
over, and from 18,000 to 20,000 with incomes of from 

50,000 to 250,000 (;^2000 to ;^ 1 0,000). 

From statistics relating to May 1886 in a population of 
38.2 millions, the distribution by occupation was as 
follows : 



Agriculture and woods . 

Independent persons 

Persons with higher duties 


Hotels and restaurants . 

Spinning and weaving . 

Tailoring, &c. . 

In addition to these France has many important fields of 
labour for women. In trade and in the banks served : 



• 2,138,236 . 

• 4.777,729 

937,539 . 

. 3,108,625 

42,428 . 


. 1,158,269 . 

. 1,613,697 

164,964 . 


376,602 . 


433,650 . 





35.6 per cent. 
64.4 „ 

In case of thj interruption of the general economic life 
of the people the agricultural class will feel the crisis less 
acutely than others. On every farm exists some reserve 
of food, while that part of the population whose earnings 
come from industry and trade, and a considerable pro- 
portion of those living in service, will be in a desperate 
position — all the more desperate since in France women, as 
is seen by the above statistics, live by their own earnings. 
Taking such an active part in national work, the French 
woman has an extraordinarily beneficent influence on her 
country. It would be very interesting to consider what 
direction the activity of French women would take in a 
critical moment of the war. But here it is impossible to 
enter into the question. 

France is generally considered to be a rich country, but 
even if we suppose that only 5 per cent, of the population 
lives in poverty, it appears that 2,000,000 persons require 
in times of peace either state or private assistance. In 
time of war the number of the needy population would, of 
course, increase. Indeed, the proportion of unemployed 
will be greater in France than in other countries in con- 
sequence of the fact that the most important section of 
her products are articles of fashion and luxury, the sale of 
which would, of course, decrease. The number of un- 
employed in France even in normal times is considerable. 



If we may believe the French Radicals the proportion out 
of work in France amounts to one-fifth, or at the very 
least to one-sixth of the population. In Paris things are 
even worse. In favourable times one-fifth of the working 
classes are without employment for three to four months, 
while in years of crisis 45 per cent, of the working classes 
are without employment — that is to say, 300,000 families 
are without the means of subsistence. In ordinary times 
these unemployed draw little attention upon themselves, 
but in time of war their number would undoubtedly grow, 
and all would consider they had a right to government 
assistance. The following diagram shows approximately 
the amount of assistance given to the poor in France in 

Assistance given to the Poor in France in 1889. 

Number receiving 
assistance (in 

Number of days 
on which assist- 



It is easy to foresee the consequences which must result 
from such a state of things in a country like France, where 
the socialistic movement bears unerring witness to the 
existence of general discontent with the existing order of 
things. If after the war of 1870 a Commune sprang up, 
what must we expect now when Socialism has raised its 
head and created a permanent organisation, while before 
the war the government of Napoleon III. crushed every 
attempt at socialist propaganda. 

For another peculiar reason war would be more dis- 
astrous for France than for any other country. We have 
seen how rich is France in capital, how industrious and 
how economical is her people. But all these factors would 
not be so remarkable if it were not for a special circum- 



stance which, while being itself of a negative character, 
has an immense influence on the growth of wealth. 

As is well known, the birth-rate in France is consider- 
ably lower than in other states, while the death-rate is 
almost the same, so that the growth of the population is 
quite insignificant. There have even been years when 
the growth not only ceased, but a loss actually occurred. 
The following diagram shows the proportion of old men 
and children in percentage relation in the population in 
some of the chief European states. 

Number of Old Men and Children in Percentage Relation 
to Population. 

Persons over 60 
years of age. 

Children below ten 
years of age. 













t 17-5 

Thus in France the proportion of children under the 
age of ten years is only lyh per cent, of the population, 
while in other countries it rises as high as 24 per cent, 
and 26 per cent. Persons of 60 years and over in France 
constitute 12.6 per cent., and in other countries 7-8 per 
cent. The relation of married and unmarried persons in 
France is also less favourable than in other countries, as is 
shown by the following sketches : 


Number of Bachelors in Percentage Relation to Population. 

40 Years and over. 30 Years and over. 


10. 1 













. _ 









The diagram opposite shows the unfortunate position 
of France in all its blackness. 

From this we see that in France the birth-rate is ap- 
proximately equal to the death-rate, while in Germany 
the birth-rate exceeds the death-rate by 12 in every 
thousand. The diagram relates only to the last ten 
years. But the same phenomenon may be seen during 
the whole of the present century. 

From the diagram on p. 292 it will be seen that 100 years 
ago the strength of Germany was 40 per cent, lower than 
that of France, while at the present day France is weaker 
than Germany by 20 per cent. From these statistics we 
must conclude that France will become weaker in com- 
parison with other countries where the growth of the 
population is more normal. The artificial measures pro- 
posed for the increase of the birth-rate cannot be of much 
avail. Projects may be drawn up to increase the birth- 
rate, but to carry them out is shown to be impossible. 

The decrease in the birth-rate has yet this inconvenience, 
that more care is taken of children, the death-rate among 



Increase or Decrease of the Population in France and Germany 

per Thousand. 



+ 12.7 

+ 12.9 

+ 12.7 

+ 13 

+ 13-5 

+ 1.4 

+ 1-5 

+ 1.2 

+ 17 

+ 2.1 

+ 25 

+ i.o 


them is smaller, and the natural process of the elimination 
of weak organisms is stopped, from which the general 
physique of the people is bound to suffer In France even 
at the present time the race is weaker than in England, 
Germany, or Russia. 

Number of Population in 1788 and 1888 in Millions, 

1788 1888 

This unfortunate position of affairs has, however, 
although only temporarily, good sides, since with an incon- 
siderable growth of the population France has more room 
and a less serious struggle for the development of produc- 
tive forces. In addition, the people spend less money on 
education and save all the more ; capital is not split up 
as it is in more populous states, and in consequence 
material prosperity increases. But these considerations 



do not alter the fact that every year the strength of France 
grows less and less in comparison with that of other states. 
But for the masses living to-day the future is hidden in 
the splendours of a temporary prosperity. 

If we take the value of each inhabitant at 3000 francs 
(;^ 1 20) and make an estimate of such wealth accumulated by 
France and Germany in the past century, we will get some 
interesting results, as shown on the following diagram : 

Value of Growth of Population from 1788 to 1888 in Millions 
of Francs. 




In the event of a war under modern conditions tne 
losses, as we have already pointed out, would be immense 
for all states engaged. But France, above all, must avoid 
loss of men in consequence of her present position, as losses 
would be relatively greater for her than for other states. 
War could in no possible way change the position of 
France for the better. With the loss of the flower of her 
youth would follow not merely the " national danger " but 
absolute ruin. 

France with so many milliards invested in foreign 
countries, and with the greater part of her savings invested 
in her own debt, is a country which, while admitting no 
offence against her honour or her interests, must at the 
same time aspire to peace, as in peace alone, and not in 
war with all its disasters and misfortunes, will she find 
the best path for a national genius to which all humanity 
is indebted. 



Difficulties in the satisfaction of the vital needs of popu- 
lations, interruption or stagnation in the employment of 
the productive forces of the population — these are the 
factors which will influence statesmen against undertaking 
war, or if war be undertaken, these are the factors which 
will at one moment or another decidedly veto its continu- 
ance. For certain states yet another danger appears (as 
one phantom hastens after the other in the vision of 
Macbeth), that is, the danger of revolutionary movements, 
not only political but also socialistic. 

In considering the effect of a future war it is essential 
to examine the manner in which it will react on the needs 
and condition of the people. If famine is not to find states 
unprepared, some account of the dangers which follow 
on war must be taken. The consideration of this question 
may be useful in another way. By revealing with what 
a tremendous influence a great war may react on the con- 
ditions of peoples, it must result in a tranquillising con- 
viction that in our time to decide on war without grave 
hesitation will be impossible. 


Those countries which in times of peace import large 
quantities of grain and other necessary products will stand 
in a particularly critical condition. Supply by means of 
railroad will be extremely difficult, and indeed there will 


be no country whence to import, since every European 
country will be compelled to shift for itself. Of the two 
countries which serve as the granaries of Europe, Hungary 
will be forced to place her superfluity at the disposal 
of Austria, while Russia will be deprived of the possibiUty 
of supplying her friends with grain, and will not wish 
to supply her enemies. 

Transport by sea from America, India, and Australia 

Home Production and Import of Wheat, Barley, and Rye. 

B ui 



V 3 




Import in 

Thousands of 


Import in Percentage 

Relation to Home 


Import in 

Thousands of 


Import in Peicentage 

Relation to Home 




V J, 





V in 



France . 
Italy . . 
Austria . 

























will become impossible, as it is unquestionable that in the 
beginning of war privateering will be carried on, inter- 
rupting communication with trans-oceanic countries, or at 
the very best making transport so difficult that freight 
and insurance will rise very high, and thus the price 
of trans-oceanic supplies will rise prohibitively. It is 
enough to remember that in the time of the Crimean 
war, when import from Russia alone ceased, the 
price of wheat in England rose 80 per cent. In the 
American Civil War the operations of a single Southern 



cruiser, the Alabama, were enough to cause a perceptible 
rise in the price of wheat. 

Thus it becomes necessary to determine the degrees of 
peril to which in the event of a great war the different 
states of Europe will be subjected in the feeding of their 

A calculation of the times in the course of which the 
population of each state may exist on the local production 
of wheat, barley, and rye can Le made from the table given 
on the preceding page.* 

If on the foundation of these figures we calculate the 
number of days on which food will be lacking after the 
exhaustion of local products we find the following results : 

In Germany 
„ France 
„ England 
„ Italy 
„ Austria 

6q days 
32 » 
178 » 
76 ,. 
2 „ 

102 days. 

36 n 
274 ,. 

75 .. 
7 .. 

















Austria 7 


The greatest danger will consequently threaten England, 
which imports the largest quantity of grain, by far the 
greatest part from trans-oceanic countries. Germany and 

* Statistics from " Statistisches Jahrbuch fiir das Deutsche 
Reich," " Annuaire Statistique de la France,"" Oesterreichisches 
Statistisches Handbuch," "Annuario Statistico Italiano," " Obzor 
Vneshni Torgovli," &c. 


Italy will find themselves in a better, although still in a 
difficult position. Germany imports foreign grain, for the 
greater part Russian, for 2-3 months, and Italy for about 
2| months. France will suffer only from a month's 
deficiency, while Austria may be considered as fully 

The most favourable position will be occupied by 
Russia, which with her export trade interrupted will not 
only not suffer from deficiency but will possess so much 
superfluous grain that her population can in no way 
suffer. The export from Russia of wheat, barley, and 
rye in the course of the periods considered shows a 
yearly average of 3,967,213 tons, or a superfluity after 
the satisfaction of local requirements of 21.6 per cent. 

In addition to wheat, barley, and rye, we find a con- 
siderable deficiency in oats ; for all the states of Central 
Europe mentioned, with the exception of Austria, produce 
less oats than is required for local needs. 

Production and Import of Oats. 




Import in 


Import in 






of Tons. 

of Tons. 


1 t. . 

V 3 





e ° 



S ° 

Germany . 
















England . 








Italy . 














From which 
production : 

appears the following deficiency of home 




In Germany . 

. 18 days 

„ France 

21 „ 

„ England . 

66 „ 

M Italy . 

38 „ 

„ Austria 


31 days 

41 » 

76 „ 

8 „ 

15 .. 


Number of Days on which Oats would be Lacking. 


' ' 


Germany .'.'.',.... 

'. '. 3^ 


■ ' -jT 


21 t 
21 E 

' ' 


•;8 : ' : : I " 

'.'.'.'.'.'. Italy " 8 

0° • 

Austria ; : : : : n 



Russia, on the contrary, yearly exports 836,065 tons of 
oats, or a superfluity of 16.7 per cent, after the satisfaction 
of her own needs. 

Such deficiencies of grain, of course, are not everywhere 
the same. In each country there are localities which pro- 
duce sufficient of these products. In other localities, on 
the other hand, the need to import grain arises immediately 
after harvest. 

The following table shows, for instance, the distribution 
of harvests in Germany : 


Superfluous Local 

Deficiency of Local 


Production, _ 


comparatively with 

comparatively with 

the Requirements for 

the Requirements for 

One Inhabitant, in 

One Inhabitant, in 



Posen .... 


Pr. Saxony 



Bavaria .... 



E. and W. Prussia . 






Average for all Prussia 



Silesia .... 






Brandenburg (and Berlin) 



Hesse-Nassau . 



K. Saxony .... 






Pri. Rhine Provinces 



G. Duchy Baden 



Other parts of the Empire 


Thus the harvest appreciably exceeds the demand in 
Prussian Saxony, the kingdom of Bavaria, Eastern and 
Western Prussia — that is, in the Eastern territories of 
Germany near the Russian frontier. A considerable 
superfluity is also found in Hesse Cassel and in other 
parts of the Empire which for the sa''e of brevity are 
not set out separately. In all the other provinces the 
demand exceeds the supply, and in certain parts of the 
empire — as in Brandenburg, Baden, Wurtemburg, the 
Rhine provinces, and Saxony — by more than half. 

And as in these parts of the empire agriculture 
occupies about 42 per cent, of the population, agriculturists 
through dread of famine will hold their stocks of pro- 
visions for themselves, and for the remainder of the 
population it will be necessary on the very day after 
harvest to draw grain from other localities. 

In times of peace the industrial districts may import 
grain from America, Austria, Roumania, and Russia, and 
even from the eastern provinces of Prussia where a 


surplus exists. With the declaration of war, for the 
reasons we have indicated, this import must cease. To 
rely on supplies from Austria and Roumania is out of the 
question when we consider local needs and decreased 
efficiency of the railway system resulting from military 
operations. To avert famine, even temporarily, the 
eastern provinces might be drawn upon, but in conse- 
quence of its proximity to the theatre of war, grain there 
will be bought up for the use of the army. 

Mr. V. 1. Hedzvetski, in a remarkable article on " The 
Struggle with Famine in a Future War," comes to the 
conclusion that in the gran aries of the future base of the 
German army near the Ru ssian frontier there will be but 
a month's or a month and a half s provisions for 960,000 
men and 220,000 horses. But on the figures of General 
Leer we find that the number of men to be fed will amount 
to 1,200,000. And as armies at the theatre of war will 
not be in a condition to supply their needs from local 
sources, it is plain that the above-mentioned stores must 
be constantly replenished, if not for the whole number of 
men mentioned, at least for the greater part. 

Even if Posen and Eastern Prussia were in a condition 
after the satisfaction of military requirements to distribute 
part of their superfluity among the neighbouring pro- 
vinces which require grain, which is very unlikely in view 
of the demands of the commissariat, still prices must so 
rise that among the poorer classes famine will be 

To form a general idea of the commotion which war 
would cause in Germany, we must take into account not 
only average figures of production, import and demand, 
but also the operation of undetermined forces, the influence 
of which may be disastrous. The very fear of need, 
owing to the impossibility of drawing supplies from the 
usual sources, may not only appreciably raise prices, but 
even call forth a panic. In the famine of 1891 we had a 
living example of the fact that, notwithstanding the full 
possibility of import of corn by sea and land, the dread of 
need may have immense influence on the rise of prices. 


It is necessary also to take into account the fact that 
between the harvests of different years a considerable 
difference exists. If we take the average yearly harvest 
in the period 1 885-1 889 in different countries, in millions 
of bushels, at a hundred, then for separate years in each 
country we will find the following departure from the 
average : 




Harvest in 


in Millions 


Minimum. | 

of Bushels 
taken at 



Per Cent. 


Per Cent. 







Germany . 



















Gt. Britain 






Italy . 



















From these statistics we see that the departure in 
Germany amounts to 6 per cent, above the average and 
to 8 per cent, below it. In other countries the difference 
is still more striking, as for instance in Russia and 
Austria, where in consequence of a lower culture, harvests 
are more unequal. In Russia this difference amounts 
on both sides to 14 per cent., while in Austria the differ- 
ence amounts to 8 per cent, on the good side and 13 per 
cent, on the bad. 

All these conditions: the small production in comparison 
with the demand, the cessation of import from abroad, the 
indispensable supply of millions of soldiers who consume 
much more than when fed at their own expense at home, 


and finally, the efforts of the prosperous part of the popu- 
lation to guarantee themselves by storage against the 
danger of famine — all these conditions must inevitably 
give rise to vast speculations in wheat which will cause 
an unprecedented rise in prices. 

The disasters which will take place in consequence of 
the want of bread in time of war have not failed to attract the 
attention of statesmen and economists. Still this question, 
notwithstanding its gravity, has up till to-day remained an 
abstract one, and has never permeated to the minds of the 

In the German parliament the problem was raised more 
than once, but was not considered publicly, and each time 
its solution was entrusted to the consideration of a secret 
committee. The Government revealed to this committee its 
project for furnishing Germany with corn from Egypt 
through the Suez Canal, through Italy by the Swiss and 
Austrian railways, and partly from Hungary and Roumania. 
How vain these hopes would prove to be might easily be 
shown by an examination of the probable condition of 
maritime communications in time of war. In any case, 
even if under the protection of the Italian and English 
fleets it were possible to import grain through the 
Suez Canal, the risk and costliness of such an undertaking 
would cause so great a rise in the price of bread that the 
difficulty would in no way be surmounted. 

In view of this, other means for the solution of the 
question have been devised. Thus the author of the 
hrochuTG Au/derSchwelle desKriegs, on the supposition that 
war may break out suddenly with France, comes to the 
conclusion that at present only three Great Powers may be 
considered independent as relates to the feeding of their 
population — the United States, Austria- Hungary, and 
Russia. Germany after the stoppage of the export of 
bread from Russia would find herself in the position of a 
besieged fortress. What would her position be in case 
of a prolonged war when home production would be 
diminished, and transport from oversea would be threatened 
by the powerful fleets of her enemies ? 


The author of this pamphlet proposes to found state 
granaries, not only for the supply of the army, but also as 
a guarantee against famine among the civil population. 
Such granaries would have the further advantage of 
serving as a corrective against exceptional rises in 

But from the statistics given above as to the quantity 
of grain needed yearly, it is easy to see the difficulties 
which present themselves in the execution of this project. 
The quantity of provisions which it would be necessary to 
hold and renew would require such great yearly expenditure 
that the consent of parliaments would be extremely difficult 
to obtain. 


The deficiency of bread is but one of the difficulties 
with which nations will have to contend upon entering 
upon war. A similar deficiency will appear in many 
other necessaries of life. Of these meat is the chief, and 
it is necessary to consider the relations between the local 
supply and the quantity imported. The following table 
sets forth the relation : 


Trade in Meat in Tons (looo Kilogrammes). 





Austria . 
Russia . 
Italy . 
France . 









From this it appears that Austria, Russia, and Italy 
produce more meat than they require, while Germany and 
France are compelled to supply their deficiencies by 
import. In Germany in 1890 the import exceeded the 
export by 12,066 tons, in France by 18,246 tons. Thus 


those countries which produce sufficient grain are also 
guaranteed against deficiency of meat. In the event of a 
prolonged war, Germany and France will suffer from a 
deficiency in both the chief necessaries of life. 

It is true that both in Germany and in France the stock 
of cattle is so great that it seems possible by increasing 
the number killed to compensate for the diminution in 
import, but in view of the high value of the cattle raised 

Superfluity or Deficiency of Meat in Thousands of Tons. 












in those countries, the cost of meat will be raised to an 
extreme height so as to compensate the producer. 

In relation to salt Russia is in a less favourable position 
than the Western Powers. 

Trade in Salt in Tons (looo Kilogrammes). 





Germany . 
Italy . 







Superfluity or Deficiency of Salt in Thousands of Tons. 

Superfluity OEFiciENcy 









But the deficiency ol salt in Russia of 9771 tons 
yearly may be supplied, with but an insignificant increase 
in price, by the increase of local production. 

As relates to the supply of kerosene, which has now 
become a product of the first importance, Russia is in an 
enviable position : 

Trade in Keiosene in Tons (looo Kilogrammes). 





Russia . 
Austria . 
Italy . 
France . 











The known richness of the naphtha springs of the 
Caucasus makes it possible to export a considerable quan- 
tity of kerosene. Germany, Italy, and France all import 
kerosene from abroad. The import into Austria is also 
considerable, although local production (in Galicia) grows 
constantly, and in a short time Austria may be fully 
supplied by local production. 



Superfluity or Deficiency of Kerosene in Thousands of Tons. 



^H 129.8 











The question of stone coal presents itself as follows. 
The net import, after deducting the export, is, in France, 
8049 thousand tons, in Austria 1623 thousand tons, and in 
Russia 1525 thousand tons. The export of coal from 
Germany exceeds the import by 4492 thousand tons. 

Superfluity or Deficiency of Stone Coal in Thousands of Tons. 




Russia ^^H 


Austria ^^^| 


France |^^| 


Thus in regard to coal Germany finds herself in the 
most favourable position, after her coming Austria, which 


may supply decreased import by increased local working, 
although, in consequence of the stoppage of many factories, 
this, in all probability, would not be required. 

In Russia the supply of coal is thus obtained : From the 
Dombrovsk mines about 2475 thousand tons, from the 
remaining mines 3754 thousand tons. In time of war the 
supply from the Dombrovsk mines might cease, but, on the 
other hand, the demand would inevitably diminish owing 
to the stoppage of factories. A considerable part of the 
Russian population employs wood for heating purposes, 
and there will be no difficulty in this respect. 

As regards cotton, Russia is to a considerable extent 
guaranteed by supply from Bokhara. Of wool, skins, 
and linen there will be no deficiency. 

A grave question also arises whether all these countries 
will be in a position to renew their armaments and muni- 
tions of war. In this respect the majority of states are 
guaranteed. With the exception of Italy, Turkey, and 
Roumania, there exist everywhere immense factories for 
the production of arms and ammunition, so that in any 
case war will not be stopped through want of arms. 

Thanks to the energetic measures taken by the govern- 
ment, the working and manufacture of iron and steel in 
Russia has grown uninterruptedly, as the following figures 
demonstrate : 


Production in Thousands of Tons. 




I88I .... 

1890 .... 





This quantity of material is, of course, more than suffi- 
cient for military purposes. In an Imperial decree of 
October 1866 we find the following directions : "To cease 
for the future to give government orders abroad . . . and 


all orders, both of the Ministry of War, the Ministry of 
Paths and Communications, and of the other departments 
of state to fulfil inside the country, notwithstanding the 
difficulties and inconveniences which may arise at first." 
As the result of this decision there arose a large number 
of factories furnished with the latest mechanism and 
machinery for the manufacture of articles of military 
equipment. It is enough to mention that even in 1880 
out of 686 guns on the fleet, 498 were cast in the Obukovsk 
factory alone, and that these guns, as was demonstrated by 
test against armour, were in every way equal to the guns of 
Krupp. Thus the 12-inch gun, at a distance of 7000 feet, 
penetrated armour of a thickness of 12.6 inches, the 9-inch 
gun armour of a thickness of 6 59 inches, and the 6-inch 
gun armour of a thickness of 3. i inches. 


It cannot be too often repeated that the disastrous con- 
sequences of war will be especially felt in countries with 
highly developed industries — that is, in Germany, France, 
and England. With the interruption of the ordinary com- 
munications, with the diminution in demand, and the 
approach of danger, factories, mines, and workshops, with 
the exception of those whose products are necessary for 
the equipment of armies, will be forced to discontinue work- 
ing. The fathers of families, taken from their homes and 
sent to join the army at a few hours' notice, will leave 
their families, in the majority of cases, unprovided against 
the needs of the morrow. 

The following statistics are interesting as giving an idea 
how far the population of Germany is guaranteed against 
hunger by the income it receives in time of peace : 

Millions of 
Pounds Sterlir.g. Per Cent. 

Insufficient incomes amount to . 16.3 i.e. 22.1 
Small „ ,. . 22.53 M 30-5 

Limited „ „ . 13.345 „ 18.1 



Millions of 
Pounds Sterling. Per Cent. 

Moderate incomes amount to . 12.33 *-^- 16.7 
Large „ „ . 6.555 » 8.9 

Very large „ ,, . 2.69 „ 3.7 

It is unquestionable that these incomes " insufficient " 
for supplying the first necessaries of life, and " small " 
and "limited" incomes represent the earnings on which 
an immense proportion of the population lives, and that 
the stoppage or even the diminution of income will place 
this proportion in a critical position. The earnings of 
those in these classes constitute more than 70 per cent, of 
the entire income of the people. The class which enjoys a 
** moderate " income can only to a small extent help those 
in need in the moment of danger. There remain the 
rich classes, and on them must fall the chief duty of 
helping the majority. But the income of this class, with 
" large " and " very large " incomes, forms only ;^9,250,ooo, 
or I2| per cent, of the whole income of the people. 
In what way can the incomes of the rich class com- 
pensate the majority of the population for the decrease 
by a considerable extent, a decrease of a half or even a 
third, of the incomes of that majority which constitute 

Is it possible that I2h per cent, of the total income, 
even though it went entirely to the aid of the needy 
classes, could appreciably compensate the latter for the 
losses to which they would be subjected (70 per cent, of the 
total income of the people) ? And this, when we bear in 
mind that the incomes of the rich themselves will be 
reduced in time of war ? 

As relates to the provision which the working classes 
in a time of crisis would find in their own savings, we 
must bear in mind that these savings are very inconsider- 
able. Here is the picture drawn by Dr. Von Schulze- 
Gavernitz in his work, " Der Grossbetrieb " (Leipzig, 
1892). "In the great majority of cases the earnings 
hardly cover expenses, and very often a deficiency appears 
which is supplied by recourse to charity, often to prostitu- 


tion, while in many cases families are compelled to endure 
privation and even hunger." 

In the investigations of Chief Factory Inspector Vari- 
schoffer, issued by the Bavarian Government, it is explained 
that even in large manufactures (for instance, in chemical 
factories) the workers receive barely enough to satisfy the 
" physiological minimum " of existence. In the great 
industries wages hardly suffice for necessary food, which 
consists chiefly of potatoes and rye bread. But these 
earnings are nevertheless higher than those yielded by 
handicrafts and work at home. Under the most favour- 
able circumstances the wages of workers are sufficient 
only for food, nothing remaining over. It is plain, there- 
fore, that in a critical time savings cannot be counted 

The unfortunate fact must be noted that need will 
appear with especial force in those very localities in 
which there is a deficiency of grain, and where the supply 
of grain will present the greatest difficulties. In the 
kingdom of Saxony, as we have already seen, there is 
an average deficiency for each inhabitant of 267.3 lbs. of 
grain, or about 50 per cent, of the demand, while in that 
kingdom only 22.6 per cent, of the population lives by 
agriculture, and 77.3 per cent, by trade. 

In the Rhine provinces we find a deficiency of 278.1 lbs. 
kilos of grain per inhabitant, or about 60 per cent, of the 
demand, while 65 per cent, of the population lives on 
incomes derived from trade and industry. 

In addition, it must be borne in mind that the pro- 
portion of the population living by industry grows rapidly. 
In an inconsiderable period of time the industrial popula- 
tion of Germany has been quadrupled. This increase has 
already gone too far. The working forces newly appearing, 
competing ceaselessly with the old, lower the wages of the 
older workmen to an extreme level. Statistics witness that 
even now a great part of the workmen in Prussia, though 
working twelve or fifteen hours a day, earn extremely 



Glass and kerosene production 

Iron foundries . 

Working of iron ore 

Cotton factories 

Chemical factories 


Cigar factories . 

Preparation of agricultural products 

Milling of all kinds 

Weekly Wages. 

15s. gd. 

14s. 8d. 

14s. lod. 

13s. od. 

los. 8d. 

I OS. 7d. 

gs. 6d. 

gs. 2d. 

gs. lod. 

Taking these circumstances into consideration, we must 
conclude that in certain portions of Germany the Govern- 
ment, especially in view of the propagandas and tendencies 
which now operate among the masses, will not be able to 
remain indifferent to the needs of the population. 

A war with the terrible methods of destruction now 
employed and in view of the masses of people which will 
be sent to the front ma}', in spite of the predictions of 
military authorities who prophesy years of struggle, prove 
to be short and decisive. But even in that event the danger 
for the present social order cannot be considered small. 

By a very natural coincidence the greatest deficiency of 
food will be experienced in those localities where trade and 
industry are most highly developed — that is, in districts 
thoroughly permeated by socialism. A glance at the chart 
on the next page, which illustrates the voting for Socialists 
and Freisiiinigcn at the elections of 1890, is sufficient to 
confirm this statement. In the districts marked in black 
were elected for parliament Socialists (Socialdemocraten, 
Socialistes - democrates), in those lined Freethinkers 
(Deutschfreisinnig, progressivists), those with black dots in- 
dicate that Socialist candidates stood but were not elected. 

In 1890 were elected for parliament: 

Conservatives . 


Popular Party 

. 10 

Adherents of the Govern 






. ID 





Members of the Centre 


Anti-semites . 

• 5 





Socialists . 



Chart showing the Comparative Development of Socialists 
and Freethinkers in Germany according to the Elec- 
tions of 1 89 1. 






6. Magdeburg. 

7. Wiesbaden. 

8. Cologne. 

g. Diisseldorf. 
10. Aachen. 


J4.B • Mil 

ja 6 (i) J« la 

J^ ' © M la 

W 9 ^ JO 16 

11. Bavaria. 

12. Saxony with Dresden. 

13. Saxony with Leipzig. 

14. Hamburg. 

15. Alsace and Lorraine. 

*»* In the localities marked in black, Socialists were elected ; in the shaded 
localities, Freethinkers ; the black dots indicate socialist candidatures which 

Even if it be assumed that the Sociahsts and their 
adherents in the ranks of the army will fulfil their duties 
as other citizens fulfil them, still the question remains : 
Will disarmament be carried out as easily as armament ? 
To answer this question definitely is impossible now. 
But before war is decided upon it is worth considering 


whether the most splendid successes can compensate for 
the dangers that hasten on the path of war. 

In France the position will be somewhat better. Of 
^7,79^,000 persons, whose incomes together constitute 
;^900, 000,000, almost five-sixths belong to the class of 
poor people whose incomes are quite inconsiderable : 

Working in industry,trade, and transport 

Serving for salaries .... 

Domestic servants 

Small producers, workers and subordi- 
nates whose incomes do not appre- 
ciably exceed the highest wages of 
workmen , 3,700,000 „ 20.8 


Per Cent. 










Total . . . 10,617,000 „ 59.7 

The incomes of the above-mentioned categories amount 
to ;^400,ooo,000. Agricultural labourers number 
3,435,000, ie., 19.3 per cent. Their incomes, amounting 
to ;^8o,ooo,ooo, are also not guaranteed. 

No better will be the position of England, where the 
question of the feeding of the people has recently 
awakened great interest. The National Review quotes a 
speech of Sir Samuel Baker, in which we find an 
argument which touches closely upon our subject. '* To 
such a degree have we become accustomed to have 
everything necessary for the support of life and unin- 
terrupted work arrive in our ports in due time, that we 
cannot even imagine a different position. Yet there is 
not the slightest doubt that in the event of war with a 
naval power the price of wheat would rise greatly in 
England, and, reacting immediately on all industries, 
produce an unprecedented catastrophe. In her present 
state of defence, England has not the strength to 
guarantee the transport of provisions." Lord Charles 
Beresford, with similar confidence, declared that in time 
of war England could not count upon the supply from 
oversea of the necessaries of life. Admiral Hornby, 


presiding at a meeting with the object of presenting a 
netition to the Government on the subject of the taking 
of precautions against the stoppage of suppHes, said 
"that if England gained several victories at sea, and 
the regular transport of provisions were still inter- 
rupted, it would be worse for the people than several 

In Russia, at first sight, the position of the people in 
the case of war seems enviable ; 86 per cent, of the 
population is engaged in agriculture. But, as the price 
of agricultural products is very low, the agricultural class 
earns an income amounting only to 52 per cent, of the 
general income, while in Germany an agricultural 
population of 37 per cent, earns 35 per cent, of the 
income, in France 42 per cent, of agriculturists earn 40 
per cent, of the total income, and in Austria 49 per cent, 
of agriculturists earn 45 per cent, of the income. 

But worse than this is the fact that savings in Russia 
are inconsiderable, and thus the consequences of war for 
Russia might be not less terrible than for other countries. 
Such a proposition is all the more probable since the 
poverty arising from war springs not only from direct 
losses, but from the disorganisation caused by the 
destruction of ordinary relations, and by the fall of 
values. To cover the expenditure on war all states will 
be compelled to take refuge in the raising of loans or the 
issue of paper money. 

The price of all the necessaries of Hfe must grow, 
and the purchasing power of the inconsiderable savings 
possessed by the people will be greatly diminished. 

All this leads to the conclusion that, nolens vokjts, 
governments will be forced to take on themselves the care 
of feeding the families of those serving with the army. 
The results of such an undertaking cannot be foreseen. 
If we suppose that governments will be forced to interfere 
in the regulation of prices, and to support the population, 
we must ask, will it be easy after the war to abandon this 
practice and re-establish the old order ? And will not this 
moment of transition to the normal order of things be 


characterised by events similar to those which took place 
in France after the war of 1870-71 ? 

The destitute position of the population in time of war 
may be extremely dangerous to social order if war be 
prolonged, and in the opinion of very authoritative military 
writers this is more than probable. In connection with 
this subject we may quote the opinion of General Leer : 
" Even with small armies, the years 1812-1 3-14 present 
a continuous three years war. How much time will be 
needed to conquer (to employ the expression of Von der 
Goltz) the modern Antaeus and tear him from the earth, 
sending against him army after army ? The impending 
struggle will not be decided by swift, heavy blows, but 
will be prolonged, it may be, even for years." Such is the 
opinion of the best German and French military special- 
ists — war with Russia cannot be finished in one year, but 
will require several campaigns. 

In the composition of the German army will be found 
the whole male population fit for service, from 17 to 45 
inclusive. Considering that for agricultural labour the 
working age is between 15 and 65 years, it will be 
shown that 56 per cent, of the working class will be 
called under the flag. Even if we suppose that not all 
Germans liable to service will be employed in war, still if 
Germany proposes, as was announced by Caprivi, to 
carry on an offensive war on both frontiers, it will be 
necessary to withdraw from work such a quantity of 
working forces that the remaining population will not 
be able to accomplish a work which in times of peace 
occupies the whole working male population. For this 
reason alone production in time of war must be greatly 
diminished ; the need for the import of food will grow ; 
and the question of supply will become a hopeless one. 

In addition to this insufficiency of workers, we may 
point also to the difficulty which will arise in the matter 
of horses. If we may believe the statistics given in 
LAnnee Militaire in 1892 the demand for horses in the 
different states on mobilisation will be as shown in the 
following table : 


In Thousands. 

From each 

Hundred Horses 

will be required 

for War Purposes : 

In Time of 

Army holds 

In Time of 

War will 

be required 

Number of 

Horses in the 


England . 
Italy . 
Germany . 

1 60 













Percentage of Horses which would be taken for Military Purposes, 













Of the 334,000 horses which will be required by 
Germany the majority will of course betaken from farmers. 
But this cannot fail to react injuriously on agriculture. 
It must not be forgotten that with the intense system of 
farming in Germany, fields never rest, one crop follows 
after another, and delay in working will undoubtedly cause 


difficulties unknown under the more primitive systems of 
farming. As is well known, a holiday is kept in Germany 
at the beginning of field labours, the so-named Busstag 
(day of prayer and penitence), and after this work is 
carried on through the whole summer without in- 
termission on Sundays or holidays. In Germany, even 
under normal conditions, labour is so intensely utilised 
that to supply the labour of those serving with the army 
by working the remaining labourers on holidays is im- 

In the German army will be found 38 per cent., 
in the French 42 per cent., and in the Austrian 49 per 
cent, of the total number of agriculturists. Even if we 
suppose that a certain proportion of factory labour will 
be diverted to agriculture, it is nevertheless unquestion- 
able that the harvests in time of war will be sensibly 

In Russia this question rests on an entirely different 
basis. There the absence of working agriculturists will 
be supplied more easily than elsewhere, for an important 
proportion of the peasants' land is held in common. It is 
easy to be an opponent of this system of agriculture and 
even to attribute to it the low condition of agriculture among 
the peasantry; but it must be acknowledged that the 
diversion to war of a great number of working hands will 
be borne much more easily under this system than under 
individual proprietorship. In general the land abandoned 
by the labourer who has been summoned under the flag 
will not remain wholly neglected. Without doubt it will 
be cultivated by the Mir, and the owner of the land on 
return will re-assume his former rights. 

In addition to this, agriculture carried on on a low level 
will suffer less from the neglect and even from the absence 
of the owner than a more intense system. In the absence 
of a system of progressive improvement, the agriculturist 
on returning to his home may be assured that he will find 
his land in much the same state as he left it when summoned 
to the front. The workers in factories and in industries 
in Russia do not as a rule cease their connection with the 


village community. On the stoppage of factory work at 
the outbreak of war they will return to their villages and 
devote themselves to agriculture. In addition, it may be 
noted that in Russia the number of holidays is so great 
that, if in time of war the supreme ecclesiastical authority 
permitted work upon holidays, this alone would compensate 
for the loss of working forces through the exigencies of 

It must not be forgotten that out of the whole population 
between 20 and 50 years of age, the army (considering 
only attacking forces) will take in Germany 31 per cent. 
(3,000,000 men), in Austria 28 per cent., in France 47 
per cent., while in Russia (3,500,000) it will take only 15 
per cent. As Sundays constitute 15 per cent, of working 
time, then the lost contingent of working hands may be 
compensated for by Sunday labour alone, without trench- 
ing upon the immense number of holidays which are 

Upon survey of the facts and statistics above set forth 
it is impossible to avoid the following conclusions : 

(i) The advantage rests on the side of those states who 
possess sufficient means of production and who in conse- 
quence will be in a condition to carry on a prolonged war 
without the danger of internal difficulties. 

(2) In view of the prime importance of the feeding of 
the population, those states whose internal resources are 
deficient must see that crops have been got in before war 
breaks out, and only in extreme cases decide on war before 
harvests are over. 

(3) It is most probable that war will break out when the 
harvest of the country which intends to take the initiative 
is above the average ; with a bad harvest peace may be 
considered as guaranteed. 

(4) The most serious indication of approaching war will 
be the feverish acquisition of provisions by those states 
which would be endangered by their deficient internal 

(5) In time of war, and especially after it, the gravest 
popular commotions may appear in Western Europe. 



I. — Statistics for Estimating Losses. 

Cold Steel. — The use of the bayonet, the lance, and the 
sword have not changed. As we have shown in detail in 
another place the proportion of casualties caused by cold 
steel is insignificant. 

Small Anus. — Since the last great wars the power of 
arms has grown immensely and every day witnesses fresh 

Let us quote some facts as example. In Germany, 
Austria, France, Russia, England, and Turkey a rifle 
with a calibre of from 7.62 to 8 mil. is employed. The 
distinctive feature of these weapons is the force of the 
blow, depending from greater initial speed and rotation 
of the bullet. This initial speed varies from 680 to 
700 yards a second, and the number of revolutions 
from 2475 to 2640 a second. In the Italian, Dutch and 
Roumanian armies rifles have been adopted with a calibre 
of 6.5 mil., with an initial speed of 750 yards, and rota- 
tion 3830 a second. In the United States a 6-mil. rifle 
has been adopted. In Germany and Austria experiments 
with a 5.0-mi]. rifle gave remarkable results. The signi- 
ficance of these changes may be understood from the fact 
that the penetrative force of the 6.5-mil. rifle is 44 per cent, 
greater than that of the 8-mil. rifle. 

The effect of a rifle shot depends first of all upon the 
energy preserved by the bullet on reaching its target and 
then upon the weight of the bullet in relation to its diameter 


and upon the speed of its flight. The following diagram 
illustrates the difference in power of the rifles of 1877 
and 1890. 

Amount in Metro-Kilogrammes of Living Force of a Bullet on each 
Quadratic Centimetre of its Transverse Area on Striking 
Obstacles at various Ranges. 








63. e 
















As concerns the 5-mil. bullets their striking force very 
considerably exceeds that of the 7.66-mil. bullet. 

What will be the effect of such projectiles when 
employed in war by soldiers equal in equipment and 
training it is difficult to foretell precisely. Nevertheless 
such experiments and investigations as have been made 
help us to form a very vivid picture of the future battle- 

Experiments in the use of the 5-mil. Mauser rifle 


against the carcases of horses gave the following results. 
From a distance of 27, 220, 550, iioo, and 1870 yards, 
the bullets penetrated 5, 4, 3, 2, and i carcases of horses, in 
each case preserving sufficient energy to penetrate to some 
extent the following carcase. 

Number of Horses' Carcases Penetrated by the Bullets of the 
Mauser 5 Mil. Rifle at various Ranges. 

27.5 yds. 


550 „ 




The enormous energy of such projectiles will for another 
reason cause an increase in the losses of war. Modern 
covered bullets are effective even in piercing metal. 
When the old round leaden bullets were used, a tree 
three inches thick or an earthwork twenty inches thick was 
an effective protection for soldiers. The modern small- 
calibre bullet will penetrate earth to the thickness of 
781^ inches, pierce through a tree and strike those who 
shelter behind it. In olden times the second rank con- 
sidered itself protected from danger by the first, the 
coward took refuge behind a companion. The modern 
bullet may not only penetrate soldiers in the first two, 
but even in the third rank. 

From this we see that the number of victims of the 
modern bullet may be five times greater than that of the old. 



In considering the degree of danger in battle the 
number of revolutions of a bullet has great importance. 
The following diagram shows the weight and rotation of 
bullets in use at various times. 

Rotation and Weight of Bullets of Various Rifles. 

Number of Revolutions. Weight of Bullets in Grammes. 


Needle Gun. 






Berdan. 1 






1 ; 



New Russian 
Rifle, 1891. 






6.5 MiN. Rifle. 




This question has much importance, for upon striking 
something hard, such as the branch of a tree or a thick 
bone, the bullet takes an irregular position, and as its 
revolution continues it causes very serious wounds. It is 
for this reason that the intervention of a tree or a brick if 
it be insufficient to stop the bullet only makes it more 
dangerous. In Nirschau, in crushing the disturbances 
among the miners, but ten shots were fired, yet seven 
persons were killed and twenty-five wounded from a 
distance of from thirty to eighty paces. Many others 
slightly wounded concealed their injuries so as to escape 
legal prosecution. Each bullet struck from three to four 
men. This is explained by the thickness of the mob and 
the shortness of range. Of the wounded men six died, 
so that the percentage of death from wounds was 24 per 
cent., while in the war of 1870 it was only 12 per cent. 
The general mortality among those struck by bullets was 
40.6 per cent. 

It cannot be doubted that the immense increase in the 
penetrative force of bullets, and the gravity of the injuries 
inflicted, will be one of the most striking characteristics of 


a future war. The effect of the deformation of bullets on 
striking hard substances will also be considerable, but 
concerning this we have no statistics. 

The first quality of a rifle is accuracy of fire. In this 
respect modern weapons possess qualities which ensure a 
number of casualties incomparably greater than in the 
past. The bullet of the 6-mil. Mannlicher rifle for a 
distance of 750 yards will fly so close to the ground that 
it will strike everything in the line of fire for that distance. 
With the rifles employed in the war of 1870, the effective 
distance in a range of 650 yards was 30 yards for the 
Dreuze and 35 yards for the chassepot. In other words 
the field of death has grown twenty times. At a greater 
range than 750 yards the bullets of 1870 almost always 
struck soldiers on the point of fall ; at the present time the 
Mannlicher bullet aimed at a target 960 yards away, flies 
so low that it would strike a man for no yards of its 
flight. Even at a range of 1300 yards it would be 
effective for 62 yards. The following diagrams show 
this difference more plainly. 

Zone of Effective Fire against Infantry (i m. 70 cm. in height) 
at various Ranges. 




Breadth of Zone of Effective Fire against Cavalry (2 m. 70 cm. 
in height) at various Ranges- 





In all armies firing drill has been brought to perfection. 
The quantity of cartridges expended in training is incom- 
parably greater than before, and the most ingenious 
methods have been devised for showing inaccuracy of fire 
or nervousness. 

It is easy to see how these circumstances will influence 
future losses. At the present time the success of aim 
depends only upon the proper holding of the rifle. 
Raising the small-cal'ibre rifle to the shoulder and firing 
mechanically and horizontally, at the present day the 
rifleman covers a space of 650 to 750 yards. Where in 
1870 a special order was needed and attention had to be 
paid to its execution, the mere mechanical use of the 
weapon is now necessary. For this reason, too, the 
range of useful fire, which will not involve waste of 
cartridges, has immensely increased, as the following 
diagram shows : - 





^D III'"'! 

^ , 


,- ■■■■■!■■::::■:::::":? 


v*,« ■"::":: ::::::::::::::::::::: ::::::! 

it> ::::::: , 


CM e: :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :::::: 

Under Cover ; 

Lying Down. : 

Standing ; 
or on 
Knees. : 

On Horse- ! 
back. : 

roups of not | 
an Four Men. '. 

A Platoon. 

Haifa : 
Detachment. I 

A : 

Detachment. ;; 

nst Company ; 
adron Columns I 
Batteries. ; 

nst Troops in -i 
Formation or ; 
King Columns. ; 

The effect of improved training may be shown by the 
following figures. In Russia up to 1874, at 650 yards 
range the accuracy of fire of a battalion was 25 per cent. ; 
to-day, with improved training, it is as high as 69 per cent., 
or almost three times better. The modern rifle so nearly 
approaches perfection that a well-trained marksman 
almost certainly hits his mark. In the French and 
German armies the percentages of successful fire against 
an infantryman are shown by the following diagrams : 


Percentage of Hits in Fire at One Infantryman. 

French Army. Range. German Army. 

Lying down. 

H i l l ll l llP 

87.0 •/. 

■ ■■■■•.■■■■■a 



18 7. 

25 7, 


24 3 Vo 

25 V. 

33 7. 


4.3 V. 

Percentage of Hits in Fire at One Infantryman. 

French Army. Range. German Army 


37 7. 

32 7. 

Besides these improvements in weapons all tending to 
the increase of casualties, the systems of measuring 
distances have been improved at the same rate. The 
improved instrument of Colonel Paskevitch adopted by 
the Russian army ten 3'ears ago measures up to 7000 
yards in three minutes, while it weighs less than 72.6 lbs. 
The accuracy of this instrument may be seen from the 
following diagram ; 

Deviaticn of the Paskevitch Instrument in Metres. 

At a Ran;e oi 

1288 metres 

1 2.25 

2273 » 





2645 ,. 



3100 „ 

: : 

: : 













In later years even more accurate instruments have 
been constructed. 

The increase in the number of cartridges, already 
mentioned in another connection, carried by soldiers is 
another factor increasing losses. With the Berdan rifle 
a Russian infantryman carried 84 cartridges, vi'ith the 
new weapons 1 50 cartridges ; with the 5-niil. rifle the 
number carried will reach 270. 

Number of Cartridges carried by one Soldier with Different Rifles. 

With an even smaller calibre the number of cartridges 
carried will be from 380 to 575. If we assume that, 
without having recourse to the reserve, the number of 
cartridges now carried will be expended, it is easy to see 
how losses will be increased. The smokelessness of 
powder is another factor in increasing losses. But to 
this we have already referred more than once. 

On the above statistics we have constructed the follow- 
ing table showing how the old loss of 18 per cent, from 
rifle fire will be increased, in all cases the lowest conceiv- 
able increase having been taken : 

From increase of energy .... 
„ „ in revolutions and from de- 

formation of bullet . 
„ „ in accuracy .... 

„ improved means of observation and 


„ absence of smoke, &c. 

„ increase in quantity of cartridges 

7 per cent. 






From which it appears that the general loss from rifle- 


fire will grow to 6^ per cent. That this estimate is not 
exaggerated is shown by the Chilian war. Yet, as already 
stated in the beginning of this work, Professor Gebler 
gives even a higher value to the effectiveness of the new 
weapons : 

Rifle of 1 87 1 . . . . 100 per cent. 

French rifle of 1886 . . . 433 „ 

German rifle .... 474 „ 

5-mil. rifle .... 1337 „ 

In comparison with this our calculations appear very 

Artillery. — Of the effect of artillery fire the past can 
give little idea. Such authoritative writers as General 
Wille, Professor Pototski, and Captain Moch declare that 
the quick-firing guns now built in France, Germany, and 
Russia are at least twice as effective as the 1891 type, of 
which Langlois said : " We have before us a whole series 
of improvements of the utmost importance, and must 
admit that war material has become entirely different 
from that employed in past wars." In addition to this 
the quantity of artillery has increased immensely. 

In the present day as many projectiles can be fired in 
the course of a few minutes as were before fired during 
a whole battle, the best guns giving in the course of three 
minutes 83 shots and the worst 65. The accuracy of fire 
is no less remarkable. From a distance of 2000 yards 
guns have sent four projectiles into the same hole. 

A comparison of the effect of 1000 rifle bullets fired 
by infantrymen attacking in open order with the effect of 
shrapnel showed that one round of shrapnel is effective 
over a space twice as long as, and not less wide than, the 
rifle fire. Experiments show that the fragments of these 
shells are thrown over a space 860 yards long and 420 

On the basis of comparisons made by Langlois, it 
appears that the French gun of 1891 is twenty times 
more eflfective than that of 1870. In the same period the 
number of guns has increased from 780 to 4512. From 


which it appears that the French artillery of 189 1 was 
116 times more powerful than that of 1871. When the 
new quick-firing guns now being prepared — which in the 
opinion of specialists will be twice as effective as those of 
1 891 — are completed, the French artillery will be approxi- 
mately 232 times more effective than that employed against 
the Germans in 1870. It may be assumed that the losses 
will be correspondingly greater. The quantity of ammuni- 
tion carried will be twice as great as was carried with the 
former arms. On the estimates of Langlois, in a future 
battle lasting only two days, every gun will require no less 
than 267 rounds of ammunition, while if the battle extend 
over three to four days 500 rounds will be required. With 
the 136-140 rounds per gun in the armies of the Triple 
and Dual Alliances, according to the calculations of General 
Mailer, more than 11,000,000 men might be killed and 
wounded. With 267 rounds per gun 22,000,000 might 
be killed and wounded, and with 500 rounds 41,000,000. 
In consequence, it appears that artillery fire alone might 
exterminate eight times the number of the armies which 
could be placed on the battlefield. These figures seem 
absurd. Nevertheless, they are based on the detailed 
calculations of Langlois. 

In the war of 1870 the losses from artillery fire 
amounted to 9 per cent, of the armies engaged. What 
they will be in a future war it is impossible even to guess. 
The quantity of artillery has increased, each gun being 
twenty times, and, since the introduction of the latest 
types, forty times more powerful than those of 1870. Even 
leaving the increase in the number of guns out of account, 
the losses of 9 per cent, would be replaced by losses of 
180 per cent., though these new guns must in a short 
time give way to others more perfect. If we base our 
estimates on these new guns the results would be absurd, 
not through irregularity of reasoning, but simply because 
they would show that instruments had been prepared 
capable of destroying armies many times more numerous 
than could be placed in the field. 


II. — Influence of Modern Tactics in increasing Losses. 

In consequence of the use of long-range weapons and 
smokeless powder armies will be obliged to surround 
themselves, for a considerable distance, with commands 
of sharpshooters so as to render reconnaissance by the 
enemy difficult. The discovery and destruction of such 
commands will be a task of no small difficulty. In 1870 
for the protection of the German rear 145,712 men with 
5945 horses and 80 guns were employed. And since 
the strength of the infantry then operating was something 
over 455,000, it will be seen that a sixth part of the whole 
army had to be set aside to protect communications. 
Nevertheless the French sharpshooters more than once 
succeeded in cutting the German communications and 
causing confusion. If we bear in mind that these franc 
tireurs were exclusively on foot and had no military 
training, it will be understood what vast forces would 
have been required to guard communications from regular 
chasseur commands and cavalry. 

In the present time, in all countries, an attempt is made 
to give some military training to all men who might be 
required for service in time of war. Such a state of 
affairs as resulted in France in 1870, when Paris was 
actually besieged, and yet hundreds of thousands of men 
liable to service continued to attend to their civil occupa- 
tions, will not again be seen. At the very outbreak of 
war practically all the population liable to service will be 
either summoned to the operating army, or appointed to 
serve in the second and third strategical lines. 

After this of course there will remain in the country a 
sufficient number of grown men for such work as the 
obtaining of information as to the enemy, and the 
burning of bridges and stores, &c. But generally it 
must be admitted that even partisan operations will be 
carried on by organised bodies, and systematically. A 
result of this will be that even a little war in the future 
will take a serious form. 


During the manoeuvres of the German army in Alsace- 
Lorraine attempts were made at transporting infantry in 
carriages for the purpose of doubUng or even trebling 
rapidity of movement. Two experiments were made. 
The infantry either covered in one day a great distance, 
namely, 49I miles with halts for food and change of 
horses, or made two marches a day, one on foot and the 
other in carriages. 

Military operations will begin in the form of a little 
war, considerable masses of cavalry being constantly 
maintained on frontiers, which will be immediately 
crossed, upon which reconnoitring detachments from both 
sides will come into contact with one another. It will be 
most important for such detachments to have light 
infantry with them in carriages. Of course their move- 
ments will be characterised less by regularity than by 
speed. But the command will be given to picked, 
experienced officers, and as a result such bodies will be 
much more dangerous than the French franc tireurs of 
1870. At the present day a marksman from a distance 
of not more than 800 paces may pick off" men at will, and 
as smoke will no longer betray his position his fire may 
be v-ery deadly. 

The losses suffered in attacks on fortified positions will 
constantly grow, side by side with improvements in arms. 
The attackers must advance in loose formation, taking 
advantage of inequalities in the ground, and of the light 
earthworks which they will throw up with the aid of 
trenching instruments. In the war of 1877 the Russian 
soldiers were imperfectly equipped, and ill-instructed in 
the making of such works. Yet, in spite of this, earth- 
works fully proved their value. It was such earthworks 
which prevented the Turks from driving the Russian army 
from the Shipka, notwithstanding the immense sacrifices 
they made. On the other hand picked Russian troops, with 
a numerical superiority of 25 per cent, and desperate 
bravery, for a long time failed to take the redoubt of Gorni 
Dubnyak although they got within a hundred paces of it. 
In the majority of unsuccessful attacks on Plevna the 


Russian troops, after great loss, succeeded in getting 
within bayonet distance of the enemy; cases of nearer 
approach were very few. 

Relying on the confidence with which the smokelessness 
and long range of his rifle inspire the soldier, commanders 
will stubbornly hold out in defensive positions, selecting 
natural cover and supplementing it with artificial defences. 
That earthworks will be had recourse to very often in the 
field is shown by the fact, that trenching instruments 
enter into the equipment of a certain proportion of all 
infantry. As further evidence, we might point to the 
instructions delivered to the Guards Corps in 1892 
recommending defending bodies always to entrench them- 
selves unless special orders be given to the contrary. It 
is interesting to see the degrees of equipment of European 
armies for such work. 

Number of Sappers to 100 Infantrymen. 














i MMi i ii i ii i -m 


The Belgian authority General Brialmont considers that 
even the last proportion is insufficient. He declares that 
six sappers should go to every hundred infantry men. 
General Killichen goes even farther and would have a 
sapper for every thirteen infantrymen. 

In former times every irregularity in the ground was 


considered an obstacle in military operations. At the 
present day knowledge of how to take advantage of these 
irregularities is a great factor of success. This view has 
become so generally accepted within the last twenty-five 
years that all governments have undertaken the examination 
and measuring of all fields where a future battle might take 
place. This circumstance is very important. If a Plevna 
could spring up suddenly upon an unexamined and 
unprepared spot, what will be the case in a future war 
when every inch of frontier territory has been prepared 
for defence ? 

In the opinion of the most competent authorities the 
war of the future will result primarily in a series of battles 
for the possession of fortified positions. In addition to 
field works, the attacking troops will have to overcome 
auxiliary obstacles of every kind near the regular fortifica- 
tions, that is, at the place where they will run the greatest 
risk from the defenders' fire. Such obstacles will be con- 
structed of beams, wire nets, and pitfalls. Their destruc- 
tion will require immense sacrifices. The effect of artillery 
upon such defences is insignificant. Wire nets can only 
be destroyed by taking them to pieces by men acquainted 
with the methods of construction. But for this much time 
will be required. Meantime the foremost of the attackers 
will be under strong fire from the defence, and may very 
easily fall under the fire of their own artillery which will 
be supporting the attack. 

Rifle fire over the heads of advancing troops will be 
practised more often than before, and may prove the cause 
of great losses. " Observe," says General Skugarevski, 
" the results of firing in peace time. The targets stand 
at some hundreds of paces away, yet bullets sometimes 
furrow the ground at a few decades of paces from the 
marksman. And this in time of peace. What will happen 
in war ? " Still more dangerous will prove artillery fire 
over the heads of troops, since want of coolness, a difficult 
locality, the distance of the enemy and other unfavourable 
circumstances may cause inaccurate fire from which 
advanced troops might suffer severely. 


The amount of losses will depend more or less upon 
the skill or otherwise with which men are led. Yet 
even in peace times a deficiency of fully trained officers is 
felt. It must not be forgotten that a considerable number 
of the higher officers in modern armies have never been 
under fire. With the present composition, operating 
armies can never be properly officered, since the formation 
of new armies will so exhaust the reserve of officers of 
the line that a battalion at the front will have no more than 
eight out of thirty. Thus for every one of such officers 
there will be three from the reserve who will be inferior in 
knowledge, in discretion, and in applicability to conditions. 
Unskilful tactics will immediately react unfavourably on 
the amount of the losses. The deficiency in fully trained 
officers will be all the more felt as they will lose heavily 
in the very beginning of the campaign. The experience 
of the last wars, although smokeless powder was not 
used, and the rule that officers were to be first picked off 
was not generally accepted, shows how quickly the number 
of officers on the field of battle will diminish. As a guide in 
this respect the Chilian war may again be taken. Figures 
referring to two battles only show that while the number 
of men killed and wounded was 1 3 per cent, and 60 per 
cent, respectively, the number of officers killed andwounded 
was 23 per cent, and 75 per cent. But if officers are not 
there to give the example, men will not attack. Prince 
Hehenlohe, in his " Letters on Artillery," relates the 
following incident which occurred in the vicinity of Paris : 
" After driving the enemy from a village its graveyard 
was occupied by half a company from one of our best 
regiments. Quite unexpectedly the enemy made a new 
attack and regained possession of the graveyard, which we 
were obliged to capture anew. On this being done, I 
asked the men of the half-company how they could have 
given up the graveyard to the enemy. The soldiers 
answered naively : ' But all our officers were killed, there 
was no one to tell us what to do, so we also went off".' " 

The German army in the war of 1877 lost considerably 
in officers, as will be seen from the following diagram : 


Losses in the German Army in the War of 1870. 

Killed. Wounded. 

That is to say, the officers sustained twice as many m 
killed and three times as many in wounded as the lower 

In consequence of improved means of destruction every 
meeting with an enemy will take a more threatening form 
than before, and every mistake, every delay, will have 
more serious consequences. The conditions of war have 
become enormously more complex. Yet for every hundred 
soldiers serving with the colours there will be taken from 
the reserves : 

In Italy . 
„ Austria . 
„ Germany 
„ France . 
,, Russia . 

260 men. 
350 „ 
566 „ 

573 ,. 
361 ,, 

The majority of these reserves will have forgotten what 
they learnt in time of service. Of the officers also only 
a small proportion will be in a high state of efficiency. It 
would seem that with such conditions field instructions 
should be elaborated in times of peace, giving precise infor- 
mation as to tactical measures in every contingency. But, 
as we have already mentioned in another place, in this 
respect the different armies show deficiencies of various 
kinds. So far has the confusion gone that in the French 


army the expression is used " ordre, contre-ordre, des- 
ordre." And this is very natural when we bear in mind 
the want of experience of the new conditions. 

Some writers express the opinion that it is a mistake 
to issue general instructions regulating tactics in a future 
war, as under certain circumstances their literal interpreta- 
tion has the most disastrous consequences. In former 
times when fire was incomparably slower and weaker, and 
escape from the zone of fire could be effected quickly, the 
losses from mistakes in tactics were insignificant. But 
such are the conditions now that a mistake may lead to 
the extermination of a whole body of troops within a few 
minutes. The danger has grown immensely, while the 
factors of safety have diminished. Smoke will no longer 
betray the position of an enemy's troops, reconnaissance 
in the face of long-range rifles will be difficult, and the 
attacking troops will attempt to approach the defenders 
to within a short distance, at which the ballistic forces of 
projectiles can no longer receive development, from this 
distance the deciding weapon, as in former battles, being 
the bayonet. 

But what will be the losses sustained by attacking 
troops before they get within such a distance ? The 
advance, of course, will be carried out cautiously and in 
loose formation. Such an advance against an enemy 
occupying a strong position and firing over measured 
distances will be extremely difficult and may even require 
a two-days' labour. 

It is not strange then that certain authors declare that 
battles will continue three, four, and even fifteen days. 
Other specialists find that we are returning to the epoch 
of sieges. Belgrade, Mantua, and Plevna may be repeated. 
It is very likely that the attacking army, finding decisive 
victory impossible, will attempt to lock up the enemy on 
the spot, entrenching itself and making raids for the 
stoppage of his supplies until the besiegers are starved 

As we have already explained, the quick and final 
decision of future battles is improbable. The latest im- 


provements in small arms and artillery, and the teaching 
of troops to take advantage of localities, has in- 
creased the strength of defence. The modern rifle has 
immense power, and its use is simple and convenient. 
It will be extremely difficult to overcome the resistance of 
infantry in sheltered positions. Driven from one position 
it will quickly find natural obstacles — hillocks, pits, and 
groups of trees — which may serve as points for fresh 
opposition. The zone of deadly fire is much wider than 
before, and battles will be more stubborn and prolonged. 
Of such a sudden sweeping away of an enemy in the 
course of a few minutes as took place at Rossbach it is 
absurd even to think. The power of opposition of every 
military unit has increased so greatly that a division may 
now accept battle with a whole army corps, if only it be 
persuaded that reinforcements are hastening to the spot. 
The case already cited, of the manoeuvres in Eastern 
Prussia, when a single division sustained an attack from 
a whole army corps until reinforced, is sufficient evidence 
of this. The scattering of immense masses over a con- 
siderable space means that a successful attack on one 
point by means of the concentration of superior forces 
may remain local, not resulting in any general attack on 
the chief forces of the defence. 

In former times either of the combatants quickly 
acknowledged that the advantage lay with the other side, 
and therefore refused to continue the battle. The result 
and the trophy of victory was the possession of the battle- 
field. The majority of military writers consider the 
attainment of such a result very questionable. 

From the opinions of many military writers the con- 
clusion is inevitable that with the increase of range and 
fire, and in view of the difficulties with which assault is 
surrounded, a decisive victory in the event of numerical 
equality is possible only on the failure of ammunition on 
one side. But in view of the number of cartridges which 
soldiers now carry, and the immense reserves in the 
ammunition carts, it seems more likely, that before all 
cartridges have been expended, the losses will have been 


so great as to make a continuation of battle impossible. To 
the argument that night will interrupt the battle we find 
an answer in the fact that, thanks to the adoption of 
electric illuminations, the struggle will often continue or 
be renewed at night. 

In all armies attempts are made to inspire the soldiers 
with the conviction that a determined assault is enough to 
make an enemy retreat. Thus, in the French field in- 
structions we find it declared that " courageous and 
resolutely led infantry may assault, under the very 
strongest fire, even well-defended earthworks and capture 
them." But the above considerations are enough to show 
the difficulty of such an undertaking. 

Supposing even that the defenders begin a retreat. 
The moment the attacking army closes its ranks for assault 
partisan operations on the side of the defenders will begin. 
Indeed, it may be said that the present rifle, firing smoke- 
less powder, is primarily a partisan weapon, since armed 
with it even a small body of troops in a sheltered position 
may inflict immense losses from a great distance. As the 
attackers approach, the thin flexible first line of the defence 
will retreat. It will annoy the enemy with its fire, forcing 
him to extend his formation, and then renew the manoeuvre 
at other points. 

While the first line of the defenders will thus impede 
the assault, the main body will have opportunity to form 
anew and act according to circumstances. The attacking 
army, though convinced of victory, finding that it cannot 
get into touch with the rear-guard of the enemy, which 
alternately vanishes and reappears, now on its flanks, now 
in front, will lose confidence, while the defenders will take 
heart again. 

It is obvious that, with the old powder, the smoke of 
which betrayed the fighting front of the enemy and even 
approximately indicated its strength, such manoeuvres 
were too dangerous to carry out. It would be a 
mistake to think that for the carrying on of such opera- 
tions picked troops are required. The ordinary trained 
soldier is quite capable. Every soldier knows that two 


or three brigades cannot entirely stop the advance of an 
army. But seeing that the attackers may be so impeded 
that they will gain no more than four or five miles in a 
day, the defenders will have good cause to hope and wait 
for a favourable turn of affairs. 

From this it may be seen how immensely smokeless 
powder has increased the strength of defence. It is true 
that in past wars we find many examples of stubborn rear- 
guard actions faciHtating orderly retreat. But even in 
those cases victory was too evident and irrevocable, and 
this encouraged the pursuers. The vanquished tried as 
quickly as possible to get out of fire. Nowadays with 
quick-firing and long-range guns the first few miles of 
retreat will prove more dangerous than the defence of a 
position, but the chain of marksmen covering the retreat 
may greatly delay the course of the attack. 

It was Marshal St. Cyr who declared that "a brave 
army consists of one-third of soldiers actually brave, one- 
third of those who might be brave under special circum- 
stances, and a remaining third consisting of cowards." 
With the increase of culture and prosperity nervousness 
has also increased, and in modern, especially in Western 
European armies, a considerable proportion of men will be 
found unaccustomed to heavy physical labour and to forced 
marches. To this category the majority of manufacturing 
labourers will belong. Nervousness will be all the more 
noticeable since night attacks are strongly recommended by 
many military writers, and undoubtedly these will be made 
more often than in past wars. Even the expectation of a 
battle by night will cause alarm and give birth to nervous 
excitement. This question of the influence of nervousness 
on losses in time of war has attracted the attention of 
several medical writers, and some have expressed the 
opinion that a considerable number of soldiers will be 
driven mad. The famous Prussian Minister of War, Von 
Roon, writing from Nikelsburg in 1866, said : " Increased 
work and the quantity and variety of impressions have so 
irritated my nerves that it seems as if fires were bursting 
out in my brain." 


We have already referred many times to the probabiUty 
of prolonged wars in the future. Against this probability 
only one consideration may be placed : the difficulty of 
provisioning immense armies and the probability of famine 
in those countries which in times of peace live upon 
imported corn. With the exception of Russia and 
Austria-Hungary, not a single country in Europe is 
in a position to feed its own population. Yet MontecucuUi 
said : " Hunger is more terrible than iron, and want of food 
will destroy more armies than battles." Frederick II. 
declared that the greatest military plans might be destroyed 
by want of provisions. But the army of Frederick II. 
was a mere handful in comparison with the armies of 
to-day. It is true that ancient history presents examples 
of immense hordes entering upon war. But these wars 
were generally decided by a few blows, for there existed 
neither rapid communications for the purpose of reinforce- 
ment, nor regular defensive lines. Modern history shows 
many instances of prolonged wars. But it must be re- 
membered that the Thirty Years' and the Seven Years' 
wars were not uninterrupted, and that the armies engaged 
went into winter quarters where they were regularly pro- 
visioned, and in spring recommenced operations resulting 
only in partial successes, the gaining of a battle, the taking 
of a fortress, followed by another stoppage of operations. 
Thus the long wars of modern history may be regarded 
as a series of short campaigns. In recent times, side by 
side with the long Crimean and North American Civil 
wars, we find the short campaigns of 1859 and 1866. 
Taking the last as example, the German military writer 
Rustow jumps to a conclusion as to the " shortness of 
war " which is guaranteed by improved communications 
and arms. Such theorists were surprised Jby the fact that 
even the war of 1 870-7 1 occupied seven months, although 
it, of course, may be considered as short having regard to 
the forces employed and the vastness of the results. 

In the future, by virtue of concluded alliances, the 
whole populations of great states will take the field, every 
state having, in the course of years, made immense efforts 


to fortify its frontiers. In the last ten years France 
expended forty millions of pounds sterling on fortifications, 
the very nature of these having entirely changed. Instead 
of the old fortresses visible from afar and isolated forts 
easily passed or taken, we have fortified camps which 
can hardly be seen from a short distance, polygons 
with casemated quarters, where whole armies may be 

On whatever plans operations are founded the side 
which carries the war into an enemy's territory will meet 
with tremendous resources for defence. Uncounted 
millions have been spent to ensure that no great superi- 
ority of force can be attained by an invader whatever the 
difference in the time of mobilisation. Preparations have 
been made by all governments to stop the invaders, if not 
at the very frontier, then not very far in the interior of the 

In the present condition of military organisation the 
responsibility for the supply of armies will rest upon the 
higher commanders who in times of peace have little to do 
with this affair. Meantime the more numerous the army 
and the slower its movements the greater will be the 
difficulty met with in supplying its wants. And in view of 
the long delays ensured by fortifications and defensive 
lines, the labour of provisioning troops will be immense. 
In former times it was comparatively easy to feed troops 
in time of war. Armies were small and moved rapidly 
from place to place. The present state of affairs is very 
different ; and delay in the provisioning of armies will not 
only cause great difficulties, but will have its influence in 
increased losses. 

We have attempted elsewhere to treat briefly of the 
difficulties attendant on the care of the wounded in future 
wars. This question has also an important bearing on 
the question of losses, as the number of killed to a 
considerable extent depends upon the efficiency of the 
ambulance service. 

The percentage of killed will grow considerably. The 
diagram opposite shows how modern small arms, not- 


^3 100 per cent. 

•^ :=. 

g m 

ft; ^ 


*~ - 


E : 












c c 




U « 













u . 

^ < 




6 u 



X > 













withstanding their small calibre, are more dangerous than 
the old. Which shows that if all armies had been equipped 
with the Mannlicher rifle the proportion of killed would 
have been as high as 49.4 per cent., or practically equal to 
the number of wounded. This diagram has been formed 
from the general figures of losses, and to ensure accuracy 
it would be necessary to deduct the victims of artillery 
fire and cold steel. But as we have elsewhere explained 
an immense proportion of casualties are caused by rifle 
fire, so that the diagram is, probably, approximately 

The losses from wounds constitute but a small part of 
the total number of sacrifices. In past wars they have 
been but a fifth, the remaining four-fifths representing 
losses from sickness and exhaustion. Napoleon in the 
march to Moscow lost two-thirds of his army though he 
fought only one general engagement. The Russian 
armies operating against him, in the course of five months 
lost four-fifths of their strength. The losses of the 
Federal armies in the Civil War in two years (June 1861 
to June 1863) amounted to 53.2 deaths in the thousand, 
of which only S.6 were caused by wounds, and 44.6 by 
sickness. The mortality from sickness among the officers 
amounted to 22 in the thousand, while among the men it 
rose to 46. In the Franco-Prussian war the losses of the 
Germans were 34.7 per cent, from wounds and only 30 
per cent, from sickness. But this is explained by the 
shortness of the campaign, and by the fact that, being 
greatly superior in numbers, the Germans were able to 
send their sick home. On the French side these propor- 
tions were reversed. 

During the last war with Turkey the Russian armies, 
numbering in all 592,085 men, lost 16,578 in battle and 
44,431 from sickness. In LHygihie Militaire, 1886, 
Morache draws up the following analysis of losses in 
modern wars : 



Deaths in 

1000 Men. 








Crimean, French 

army . 
Crimean, English 






army . 
War of 1859, in 






French army 
Mexican, in French 






army . 
Franco-German, in 






the German army 
Russo-Turkish, in 






the Russian 

Bosnian Expedi- 
tion, in the Aus- 






trian army . 






In a future war, for many reasons, we must expect even 
more deadly results. Bad and insufficient food, in con- 
sequence of the difficulty of provisioning immense masses, 
will mean the increase of sickness ; and the overcrowding 
of the sick at certain points will complicate the danger 
both from sickness and from wounds, and thereby increase 
the mortality. 

It is further necessary to bear in mind that modern 
armies will consist of soldiers less accustomed to marching 
and deprivation, while notwithstanding the lightness of 
his rifle, the infantryman has to carry a greater weight 
than before. The German writer Turnwald, who especially 
studied the question of the weight which the soldier can 
bear, finds that it ought not to exceed 57 pounds, that is, a 
third of his own weight. At the present time the infantry- 
man carries 88 pounds. The weight of the equipment is 
undoubtedly a factor in causing the exhaustion and sus- 
ceptibility to sickness observed among the soldiers during 


manoeuvres. During manoeuvres carried on by the 
garrison of Strasbourg no less than a third of the soldiers 
fell out, and the hospitals were filled with sick soldiers. 
It is true that this was in winter, and many cases were 
caused by frostbite. 

Basing his judgment on the war of 1870-71, in which 
he took part, General Von der Goltz observes that " in a 
long and wearisome war armies undoubtedly deteriorate 
in quality. Exhaustion and weariness may be borne for 
several weeks, but not for many months. It is hard to 
remain a hero, ever ready for self-sacrifice, after daily 
battles and constant danger, after long marches through 
the mud, and nights passed on the wet earth ; all this has 
a bad effect on courage," 



Those who have considered the facts briefly set out in 
the foregoing chapters can hardly fail to agree that if 
European society could form a clear idea, not only of the 
military character, but also of the social and economic 
consequences of a future war under present conditions, 
protests against the present state of things would be 
expressed more often and more determinedly. But it 
cannot be affirmed that even this would bring about an 
amelioration of the present state of affairs. In all countries, 
with the exception of England, the opinion obtains that great 
armies are the support of government, that only great 
armies will deliver the existing order from the perils of 
anarchism, and that military service acts beneficently on 
the masses by teaching discipline, obedience and order. 

But this theory of the disciplinary influence of military 
service is overthrown by the fact that, notwithstanding 
conscription, anarchism constantly spreads among the 
peoples of the West. It even seems that by teaching the 
use of arms to the masses, conscription is a far weaker 
guarantee than the long service of the professional 

But the views of those interested in the present order 
do not extend so far, and are generally limited by 
considerations of safety at the present time. This safety 
the propertied classes see in large armies. As concerns 
the views of other orders of society, views which are 
expressed openly and constitute the so-called public 
opinion, these are too often founded only on those facts 


to which accident gives prominence. The public does 
not investigate and does not test independently, but easily 
gives itself up to illusions and errors. Such, for instance, 
is the conception of great armies, not only as guarantors 
of security, but even as existing for the encouragement of 
those industries which equip them, and those trades which 
supply them, with provisions and other necessaries. 

It must be admitted that to decide the question whether 
militarism is inevitable or not is no easy task. We con- 
stantly hear the argument adduced, that there always have 
been wars and always will be, and if in the course of all 
the centuries recorded in history, i .ternational disputes 
were settled only by means of war, how can it be possible 
to get along without it in the future ? To this we might 
reply that not only the number, equipment, training, and 
technical methods of armies, but the very elements from 
which they are constructed have essentially changed. 

The relations of the strength of armies in time of war 
to their strength in time of peace in former times 
was very different. Wars formerly were carried on by 
standing armies consisting mainly of long service soldiers. 
The armies employed in future wars will be composed 
mainly of soldiers taken directly from peaceful occupations. 
Among the older soldiers will be vast numbers of heads of 
families torn from their homes, their families and their 
work. The economic life of whole peoples will stand 
still, communications will be cut, and if war be prolonged 
over the greater part of a year, general bankruptcy, with 
famine and all its worst consequences, will ensue. To 
cast light on the nature of a prolonged war from all 
sides, military knowledge alone is not enough. The 
study and knowledge of economic laws and conditions 
which have no direct connection with military specialism 
is no less essential. 

Consideration of the question is made all the more 
difficult by the fact that the direction of military affairs 
belongs to the privileged ranks of society. The opinions 
expressed by non-specialists as to the improbability of 
great wars in the future, are refuted by authorities simply 


by the declaration that laymen are ignorant of the subject. 
Military men cannot admit to be unnecessary that which 
forms the object of their activity in time of peace. They 
have been educated on the history of warfare, and 
practical work develops in them energy and capacity for 
self-sacrifice. Nevertheless, such authorities are not in a 
position to paint a complete picture of the disasters of a 
future war. Those radical changes which have taken 
place in the military art, in the composition of armies, 
and in international economy, are so vast that a powerful 
imagination would be required adequately to depict the 
consequences of war, both on the field of battle and in 
the lives of peoples. 

Yet it cannot be denied that popular discontent with 
the present condition of affairs is becoming more and 
more keenly noticeable. Formerly only solitary voices 
were raised against militarism, and their protests were 
platonic. But since the adoption of conscription the 
interests of the army have been more closely bound with 
the interests of society, and the disasters which must be 
expected under modern conditions have been better 
appreciated by the people. 

It is impossible, therefore, not to foresee the constant 
growth of the anti-military propaganda, the moral founda- 
tions of which were not so indisputable in the past as they 
are to-day. To this moral sentiment has lately been 
added a consciousness of the complexity of the business 
relations threatened by war, of the immense increase of 
means of destruction, and of the deficiency of experienced 
leadership and the ignorance and cloudiness now pre- 
vailing on the subject of war. 

All these tend to make the people see in war a misfor- 
tune truly terrifying. And if, even in the past, it was 
found that the sentiments of peoples are more powerful 
than any force, how much more so now, when in the 
majority of states the masses indirectly share in the 
government, and when everywhere exist strong tendencies 
threatening the whole social order. How much more 
significant now are the opinions of the people both directly 


as to the system of militarism and in their influence on the 
spirit of armies themselves ! 

It is impossible here even to outline the energetic 
struggle against militarism which is being carried on in 
the West. It is true that the advocates of the settlement 
of international disputes by peaceful means have not 
attained any tangible success. But success, it must be 
admitted, they have had if the fact is taken into account 
that the necessity of maintainnig peace has been recog- 
nised by governments, and that dread of the terrible 
disasters of war has been openly expressed by statesmen, 
and emphasised even from the height of thrones. 

As a chief factor tending to preserve the system of mili- 
tarism the existence of a professional military class must be 
considered. It is true, that the changes which have taken 
place under the influence of conscription and short service 
have given to armies a popular character. On the mobili- 
sation of armies a considerable proportion of officers will 
be taken from the reserve : these officers cannot be con- 
sidered professional. Nevertheless, a military professional 
class continues to exist, consisting mainly of officers 
serving with the colours. 

It is natural that the existence of such a numerous and 
influential class, which — in Prussia, for instance — is partly 
hereditary, a class in which are found many men of high 
culture, should be one of the elements supporting the 
system of militarism, even independently of its other 
foundations. Even if the conviction were generally 
accepted that it is impossible to carry on war with modern 
methods of destruction and in view of the inevitable 
disasters, yet disarmament would be somewhat delayed 
by the existence of the military caste, which would con- 
tinue to declare that war is inevitable, and that even the 
decrease of standing armies would be accompanied by th^ 
greatest dangers. 

It must be admitted that from the nature of modern 
life, the power and influence of this class will tend to 
decrease rather than increase. The conditions of war 
are such that military life is much less attractive than it 


was of old, and in the course of a few years will be even 
less attractive. In the far past the military class pre- 
ponderated in the state and the very nobility, as in Rome, 
and at the beginning of the Middle Ages was formed of 
knights (Equites, Ritter, Chevaliers). The carrying on of 
constant wars in the period embraced by modern history 
created anew a military profession enjoying a privileged 

But changes which have taken place in political and 
social conditions, the increased importance of knowledge, 
industry, capital, and finally, the immense numbers of the 
military class, considerably reduced its privileges in society. 
Rivalry in the acquisition of means for the satisfaction of 
more complex requirements has caused the majority of 
educated people to see in military service an ungrateful 
career. And, indeed, there is no other form of exacting 
activity which pays so badly as the military profession. 
Owing to the immense growth of armies, governments 
cannot find the means for improving the position of officers 
and thei'- families, and a deficiency in officers is every- 
where felt. 

Thus, insufficient recompense will inevitably result in 
the military profession losing all its best forces, all the 
more so because the fascination for society of persons 
bearing arms has departed. The movement against 
militarism leads to views diametrically opposite. Modern 
ideals every day see less to sympathise with in the old 
ideals of distinction in battle, and glory of conquest. 
Everywhere the idea spreads that the efforts of all ought 
to be devoted to the lessening of the sum of physical and 
moral suffering. The immense expenditure on the main- 
tenance of armies and fleets and the building and equip- 
ment ol fortresses, acts powerfully in the spreading of such 
sentiments. Everywhere we hear complaints that mili- 
tarism sucks the blood of all — as it has been expressed, 
" in place of ears of corn the fields produce bayonets and 
sabres, and shells instead of fruit grow on the trees." 
Those who adopt the military career are, of course, not 
responsible for these conditions, which they did not create 


and which react injuriously on themselves. But popular 
movements do not analyse motives, and discontent with 
militarism is inevitably transferred to the military class. 

It might be replied that scholars, too, are often ill 
rewarded, notwithstanding which they continue their 
work. But every scholar is sustained by the high in- 
terests of his work, by the hope of perpetuating his 
name, and finally, by the chance of enriching himself 
upon success. The position of officers is very different. 
For an insignificant salary they bear the burden of a 
petty and monotonous work. Year after year the same 
labour continues. Hope of distinction in war is not, 
for none believe in the nearness of war. For an officer 
with an average education the limit of ambition is the 
command of a company. The command of a battalion 
little improves his position. For the command of regi- 
ments and larger bodies of troops, academical education 
is required. 

But even among those officers who console themselves 
with the thought that war will break out, presenting 
occasion for distinction, there is little hope of attaining 
the desired promotion. We have had many opportunities 
for conversing with military men of different nationalities, 
and everywhere we were met with the conviction that in a 
future war few would escape. With a smokeless field of 
battle, accuracy of fire, the necessity for showing example 
to the rank and file, and the rule of killing off all the officers 
first, there is but little chance of returning home uninjured. 

The times are passed when officers rushing on in 
advance led their men in a bold charge against the enemy, 
or when squadrons seeing an ill-defended battery galloped 
up to it, sabred the gunners, and spiked the guns or flung 
them into ditches. Courage now is required no less than 
before, but this is the courage of restraint and self- 
sacrifice and no longer scenic heroism. War has taken 
a character more mechanical than knightly. Personal 
initiative is required not less than before, but it is no 
longer visible to all. 

It is true that warfare and the military profession will 


continue to preserve their attractions for such restless, 
uncurbed natures as cannot reconcile themselves to a 
laborious and regular life, finding a charm in danger 
itself. But even these will find that the stormy military 
life and feverish activity of battle are no more surrounded 
by the aureole which once set them above the world of 

It is notable that the younger and the better educated 
they are, the more pessimistically do officers look on war. 
And although military men do not speak against warfare 
publicly, for this would be incompatible with their calling, 
it cannot escape attention that every year fewer and fewer 
stand up in defence of its necessity or use. 

As the popularity of war decreases on all sides, it is 
impossible not to foresee that a time will approach when 
European governments can no longer rely on the regular 
payment of taxes for the covering of military expenditure. 
The extraordinary resource which has been opened by 
means of conversion of loans — that is, by the lowering of 
the rate of interest — will soon disappear. In 1894 a sum 
of five hundred and twenty millions of pounds sterling was 
converted, meaning for the proprietors of the securities 
a loss of four millions seven hundred and sixty thousand 
of pounds. To defend themselves against this, capitalists 
have rushed into industry. In Europe, in recent times, 
industrial undertakings have immensely increased, and a 
vast number of joint-stock companies has been formed. 
The Conservative classes, considered as the best support 
of authority, foreseeing the loss of income, dispose of their 
Government securities and invest in industrial securities, 
which bring a better dividend. State securities tend to 
fall more and more into the hands of the middle classes — 
that is, the classes which live on incomes derived from 
work, but who are nevertheless in a position to save. 

These changes tend to make the economic convulsions 
caused by war far greater than those which have been 
experienced in the past. The fall in the value of Govern- 
ment securities at the very time when, owing to the stop- 
page of work, many will be compelled to realise, must cause 


losses which will be intensely felt by the middle classes and 
cause a panic. And, as out of the number of industrial 
undertakings some must reduce their production and lose 
their profit and others altogether cease to work, the richer 
classes will suffer great losses and many even ruin, 

A detailed examination of the vexed questions of 
Europe would lead to the conclusion that not one is of 
such a nature to cause a great war. France has no ally 
in an offensive war for the recovery of her lost provinces, 
and single-handed she cannot be assured of success. 
From an offensive war over the Eastern question neither 
Russia nor Austria could draw compensatory advantages, 
and such a war, which in all probability would involve the 
participation of England, France, Germany and Italy, 
would lead only to exhaustion of forces. Germany cannot 
think of attacking France, while out of an offensive war 
with Russia she could draw no profit. 

Of new territory in the West, Russia also has no need, 
and a war with Germany would involve such immense 
expenditure as could hardly be covered by an indemnity, 
all the more so because, exhausted as she would be by a 
struggle with Russia, Germany could not pay an indemnity 
corresponding to the case. Generally, the political question 
for Russia lies in the Far East and not in the West. 

As concerns other possible pretexts for war, exa- 
mination would show that, in the present conditions of 
Europe, none are of sufficient gravity to cause a war 
threatening the combatants with mutual annihilation or 
complete exhaustion, nor need those moral misunder- 
standings and rivalries which exist between European 
states be seriously considered. It cannot be supposed 
that nations would determine to exterminate one another 
merely to show their superiority, or to avenge offences 
committed by individuals belonging to one nation against 
individuals belonging to another. Thus a consideration 
of all the reasonable causes of war would show that not 
one was probable. 

But even if peace were assured for an indefinite time 
the very preparations made, the maintenance of armed 


forces, and constant rearmaments, would require every 
year still greater and greater sacrifices. Yet every day 
new needs arise and old needs are made clearer to the 
popular mind. These needs remain unsatisfied, though 
the burden of taxation continually grows. And the 
recognition of these evils by the people constitutes a 
serious danger for the state. 

In our time both military and political affairs have 
ceased to be high mysteries accessible only to the few. 
General military service, the spread of education, and 
wide publicity have made the elements of the polities of 
states accessible to all. All who have passed through the 
ranks of an army have recognised that with modern 
weapons whole corps and squadrons may be destroyed 
in the first battle, and that in this respect the conquerors 
will suffer little less than the conquered. 

Can it be possible that the growth of expenditure on 
armaments will continue for ever ? To the inventiveness 
of the human mind and the rivalry between states no 
limits exist. It is not surprising therefore that the 
immense expenditure on military aims and the conse- 
quent growth of taxation are the favourite arguments of 
agitators, who declare that the institutions of the Middle 
Ages — when from thousands of castles armed knights 
pounced upon passing merchants — were less burdensome 
than modern preparations for war. 

The exact disposition of the masses in relation to 
armaments is shown by the increase in the number of 
opponents of militarism and preachers of the Socialist 
propaganda. In Germany in 1893, the opponents of the 
new military project received 1,097,000 votes more than 
its supporters. Between 1887 and 1893 the opposition 
against militarism increased more than seven times. In 
France the Socialist party in 1893 received 600,000 votes, 
and in 1896, 1,000,000. 

Thus, if the present conditions continue, there can be 
but two alternatives, either ruin from the continuance of 
the armed peace, or a veritable catastrophe from war. 

The question is naturally asked : What will be given to 


the people after war as compensation for their immense 
losses ? The conquered certainly will be too exhausted 
to pay any money indemnity, and compensation must be 
taken by the retention of frontier territories which will be 
so impoverished by war that their acquisition will be a 
loss rather than a gain. 

With such conditions can we hope for good sense 
among millions of men when but a handful of their former 
officers remain ? Will the armies of Western Europe, 
where the Socialist propaganda has already spread among 
the masses, allow themselves to be disarmed, and if not, 
must we not expect even greater disasters than those 
which marked the short-lived triumph of the Paris 
Commune? The longer the present position of affairs 
continues the greater is the probability of such convul- 
sions after the close of a great war. It cannot be denied 
that conscription, by taking from productive occupations a 
greater number of men than the former conditions of 
service, has increased the popularity of subversive princi- 
ples among the masses. Formerly only Socialists were 
known ; now Anarchism has arisen. Not long ago the 
advocates of revolution were a handful ; now they have 
their representatives in all parliaments, and every new 
election increases their number in Germany, in France, in 
Austria, and in Italy. It is a strange coincidence that 
only in England and in the United States, where conscrip- 
tion is unknown, are representative assemblies free from 
these elements of disintegration. Thus side by side with 
the growth of military burdens rise waves of popular dis- 
content threatening a social revolution. 

Such are the consequences of the so-called armed peace 
of Europe — slow destruction in consequence of expendi- 
ture on preparations for war, or swift destruction in the 
event of war — in both events convulsions in the social 


Agricultural Class (see names of Countries) 

Algiers, French Army in, defective ambulance arrangements, 155 

Alsace-Lorraine : 

Loss of, ultimate economic benefit to France, 277, 278 

Russian Alliance, probable effect on, of return of provinces by 
Germany, 90 
Aluminium, vessels constructed with, impenetrability alleged, 102 
Ambulance work (see title Wounded) 
Ammunition (see title Artillery) 
American Civil War : 

Armoured ships, final supersession of wooden ships, 96 

Expenditure, 130 

Losses, 343-345 , ^ ,, ,, , 

Overcharged rifles found on field of battle, 21 

Wheat, rise in price, 295 
Anarchism, spread of, effect on militarism, 347, 356 
Arms, Small : . , r 

Bayonet, reliance on, impossible in modern warfare, 33, 34 

Chassepot, effectiveness of fire compared with modern rifle, 5, 


Improvements in, 4 : 

Increased number of casualties resulting, 319-329 

Renewal in time of war, 307 

Rifles (see that title) 

Russia, manufacture in, 242, 243, 307 
Artillery and Artillery Ammunition : 

Amount effective for war, 63 

Bombs : 

Illuminating, used in night attack, 52 
Improvements since Franco-Prussian war, 9 

Coast batteries, fire from, ineffectiveness, 104 

Destructiveness, calculations as to possibilities, 20 

Electric projectile used in night attack, 52 

Entrenchments, time taken in construction, 45 

Explosion, premature, danger of, 20, 21, 22 

Fire over heads of advancing troops, dangers attending, 334 

Gases, extent of direct action, 22 

358 INDEX 

Artillery and Artillery ammunition {continued) : 
Guns : 

Cost of firing, 99, 100 
Effect on future warfare, 8 
Number of rounds required, 20 
Russian factory at Obukovsk, 308 
Improvements in, 7-19, 38, 329 

Nerves, strain on, in dealing with highly explosive ammuni- 
tion, 21 
Preliminary action, before infantry attack suggested, 32 
Role in future warfare, 17-23 
Shells : 

Decreased use of, in future warfare, 9 
Increase in destructiveness since Franco-Prussian war, 9 
Premature explosion, danger of, 20 
Shrapnel : 

Area of dispersal, 8 
Destructiveness, 8, 9, 329 
Wounds caused by artillery fire, 148, 149, 152 
Attack : 

Artillery, losses inflicted by, 10 
Cavalry, 50 

Difficulties under modern conditions, 337-340 ^ 

Direct, rarity of, 45 t 

European armies, comparative efficiency, 62 
Infantry, defects of modern tactics, 25-34 
Loose formation, 5 
Night attack, 50 
" Auf der Schwelle des Kriegs," statement as to food supplies in 

time of war, 302, 303 
Austria : 

Agricultural Class ; 
Earnings, 314 

Proportion of population, 317 
Attack and defence, efficiency in, 62 
Bachelors, percentage, 290 
Coal supply, 306, 307 
Crime, convictions, 232, 237 
Danish war, expenditure, 130 
Declaration of war improbable, 354 
Drunkenness, statistics, 229, 230 
Expenditure on Army and Navy, 133-138 

Future war, estimates, 142, 143, 144 
Fires, losses by, 192 

Food supply, sufficient in event of war, 303 
France, war with, expenditure on, 130 
Frontier defences, expenditure on, 57 
Grain Supply : 

Home production and import, 295, 296, 297 

INDEX 359 

Austria {continued) : 
Grain Supply : 

Inequalities of harvests, 301 

Oats, home production, 297, 298 

Price, rise in, probable, in event of war, 141 
Horses for military purposes, statistics, 316 
Infantry, re-armament, estimated cost, 5 
Kerosene supply, deficiency, 305, 306 
Marriages, statistics, 208 
Meat supply, superfluity, 303, 304 
Military strength, 36, 63, 318 
Naval expenditure, 133, 137, 138 

Russian compared with, 125 
Officers, proportion possessing good preparatory training, 43 
Population, increase, 292 

Old men and children, percentage, 289 

Town and country, comparison, 193 
Reserve, proportion to be drawn upon, 42, 336 
Revenue, distribution, 145, 146 
Rifle, calibre adopted, 319 

Russo-Austro-German war of the future (see that title) 
Salt supply, superfluity, 304, 305 
Sappers, number in army, 333 
Securities held in Germany, 275, 276 

Bachelors, proportion to population in leading European States, 

Baker, Sir F., on probable effect of war on people of England, 313 
Baltic Fleet, introduction of steam, 95 

Bardleben, Professor, on destructiveness of modern rifles, 151 
Battles : 

Accidental, description of, 46 

Area, increased by modern conditions, 5, 39 

Descriptions of future battles, 47, 48 

Duration, prolonged, 52, 337, 338 

Indecisive, probable increase in number, 49, 338 

Opening from great distance, 5 
Bayonet, reliance on in modern warfare impossible, 33, 34 
Beck, Dr., on humanity of modern bullets, 150 
Belgium : 

Crime, statistics, 232 

Drunkenness, 229, 230 

Fires, losses by, 192, 193 

Frontier defences, expenditure, 57 

Rifles, experiments with, 4 
Berdan Rifle : 

Cartridges, number carried, 328 

Range of fire, 6 

360 INDEX 

Beresfor'd, Lord Charles, on food supply in England, in time of war, 

Bilroth, Professor, on aid to wounded, 156 
Bircher, experiments in rifle fire, 1 52 
Births : 

France, low rate, 288, 292 

Illegitimate, statistics, 225 

Russia, rate compared with other countries, 207, 208 
Bismarck, Prince : 

Russian designs against Germany, report spread by, 136 

Sea and land victories, statement as to comparative im- 
portance, 122 
Black Sea Fleet, composition, 95 
Blockade of ships in ports and harbours, 104, 105 
Bombardment (see Naval Warfare) 
Bombs, 9, 52 

Boots, defective, supplied in the Russo-Turkish war, 158 
Bones, penetrative power of bullets, 153 

Botkin, Professor, on defective ambulance arrangements in Russo- 
Turkish war, 154 
Brest-Litousk, strategical importance, 71, 79, 80, 82 
Brialmont, General, on : 

Fortresses, investment, 55 

Franco-German War of the future, 65 


Economic effect of war, 163 

Route of nttack by Austro-German Army, probable, 76, 78 

Sappers, number required in army, 333 
Brisant shell, destructiveness, 9 
Bruns, Herr, on modern bullets, 150, 151 
Bullets : 

Penetrative power, 3, 6, 149, 319 

Revolution and deformation, destructiveness affected by, 322, 

Wounds (see title Rifle Wounds) 
Bunge, M. N. H., on fluctuation in Russian securities, 166 
Burdeau, M., on abandonment of investigation of economic condi- 
tions accompanying war, 91 

Canada, losses by fires, statistics, 192, 193 
Captains, importance in modern warfare, 38 
Cartridges : 

Explosion, premature risk of, 21, 22 

Supply carried by modern soldiers, 5-7, 328 
Casualties, increase in, 5, 319-346 
Cattle-breeding, 303, 304 

England, 254-256 

Russia, 198-201,303, 304 

INDEX 361 

Cavalry, role in modern warfare, 1 1 

Attack, 14, 50 

Losses under fire, comparison with infantry, 14 

Pursuit, role in, 16 

Reconnaisances, 11, 12, 16 

Rifle fire against, effectiveness, 324 
Chassepot, effectiveness of fire, 5, 323 
Chasseurs, artillery hampered by, 18, 19 
Chilian War : 

Losses, statistics, 343 

Officers and men, comparison, 42, 335, 

Rifles, modern deadliness proved by, 6, 29, 329 

Torpedoes, use in, loi 
China, foreign trade with, 125, 126 
Coal supply of European States, comparison, 306, 307 
Coast batteries, ineffectiveness, 104 

Commander-in-Chief, position in modem warfare, 38, 39, 46 
Commissariat, difficulties of, 2,7, 300, 301, 303, 341, 342 

Rise in price of provisions in event of war, 140, 141, 143 
Companies, Joint Stock, in England, 262 
Conscription : 

Anarchism, increase since introduction of, 347, 356 

Defects of system, 35, 36, 37 
Consols, holders of, statistics, 260, 261 
Corea, possession of, undesirable for Russia, 126, 127 
Com supply, effect of war on, 141, 294-303, 313, 314, 318 

(See also Names of Countries, sub-heading Grain Supply) 
Coumds, Professor, on difficulties encountered by modern officers, 38 
Crete, bombardment, ineffectiveness of fire from war-ships, 118 
Crime, statistics, 228-240 
Crimean War : 

Armoured ships, introduction, 96 

Black Sea Fleet, composition, 95 

Casualties, 148, 343-345 

English national debt increased by, 265 

Expenditure, 129, 168 

Provisions, rise in price, 143, 295 

Success of invading fleets. Van der Goltz on, 119 
Cronstadt, committee to consider defence of, 97 

" Dandola," guns carried by, 99 
Danish War (1864), expenditure, 130 
Death statistics, 209-213 

Drunkenness, 230 

Killed, in proportion to wounded, in modern warfare, 342-345 

Typhoid, death from, in Russia, 224 
Declaration of war by any European Power improbable, 354 

362 INDEX 

Defence : 

Advantages on side of defensive force, 63 

European armies, comparative efficiency, 62 

Strengthening necessitated by modern arms, 5 
Dementyeff, E. M., on condition of industrial class in Russia, 

Doctors : 

Army medical work (see title Wounded, aid of) 

Civil, statistics, Russia compared with other countries, 220, 
Dragomiroff, General, on advantages of night attack, 51 
Dreuze rifle, range of effective fire, 323 

Drunkenness, crime, suicide, and insanity resulting from, 226-228 
Diippel, Battle of, casualties resulting from rifle fire, 148 

Cost of construction, 98 

Guns carried by, 99 
Duration of battle, statements as to, 52, 337, 338 
Duration of war, probably prolonged by modern conditions, 341 

Economic effects of war, 61, 91, 92, 348, 349, 353 

England, 251-265 

France, 277-293 

Germany, 266-276 

Naval warfare, eft'ects, no, 112 

Russia, 163, 242, 250 

Summary of effect on vital needs of people, 294-318 
Education : 

Crime in relation to, statistics, 238 

Expenditure, contrasted with that on war, 139 

Russia, condition in, 216-219 
Efficiency of armies, elements constituting, 61, 62 
Electric projectile for use in night attack, 52 
Emigration of Germans to America, decline in, 274 
England : 

Bachelors, percentage, 290 

Companies, Joint Stock, 262 

Consols, holders of, statistics, 260, 261 

Crime, convictions, 232, 237 

Drunkenness, 227, 229, 230 

Economic effect of war, 251-265 

Expenditure on Army and Navy, 133-138, 263, 264 
Russian Naval expenditure compared with, 125 

Factories, large proportion of people engaged in, 262 

Fires, losses caused by, 192, 193 

Food : 

Production and importation, 251-258 

Supply in time of war, probably inadequate, 313 

INDEX 363 

England (continued) : 
Grain Supply: 

Harvests, inequality, 301 

Importation and home production, 251-254, 295 

Insufficiency of local products in time of war, 296 

Oats, home production insufficient, 297, 298 
Horses for military service, statistics, 316 
Income Tax, statistics, 259, 260 
Marriages, statistics, 208 
Meat, importation, 254-256 

National Debt, increase owing to past wars, 264, 265 
Navy : 

Expenditure, 125, 133-138 

Increase, 123, 124 

Superiority over other nations, 1 1 1 
Poor Law Relief, number of people receiving, 261 
Population : 

Distribution between town and country, 262 

Increase, statistics, 292 

Occupation, 258, 259 

Percentage of old men and children, 289 
Potatoes, cultivation and importation, 254 
Revolution, possibility of, as result of war, 263 
Rifle, calibre adopted, 319 
Savings banks, deposits in, statistics, 261 
Wages and incomes, probable effect of war on, 258-263 
Entrenchments : 

Dead bodies cast out of, 157 
Importance in modern warfare, 10, 11, 332-334- 
Sappers, number of in different armies, 333 
Tactics in relation to, 26-33, 45 
Envelopment, varying opinion as to value in military tactics, 30, 34 
Equipment, weight carried, 36, 345 
Expenditure, Military : 

Comparative statement as to expenditure on armies and navies, 

Future wars, estimate, 140-146 
Past wars, 128-139 
(See also names of Countries) 
Explosives (see title Artillery and Artillery Ammunition) 

Finland, crime, statistics, 236 
Fires, losses by, statistics, 192, 193 
Food Supply : 

Armies (see title Commissariat) 

Effect of war on, 294-305, 313-315, 3^ 8 

Three Great European Powers only in position of independence 
in event of war, 302 

(See also title Grain Supply) 

364 INDEX 

Fortresses : 

Auxiliary obstacles used in defence, 334 

Declaration of war, probably followed by immediate breakmg 

through frontier defences, 57, 58 
Losses during siege, probable increase, 332-334, 342 
Strength of investing force, modem requirements, 55 
Time probably required for siege, 55 
Use in modern strategy, 52, 113 
Fougasse cartridges and shells, danger of premature explosion, 20, 

21, 22 
France : 

Agricultural Class : 

Efifect of war on, 287 

Incomes, 313, 314 

Percentage of population, 284, 285, 287, 317 

Wages, 286 
Algiers and Tunis, armies in, defective care of wounded, 155 
Alliance with Russia, probable effect on of return of Alsace 

and Lorraine by Germany, 90 
Artillery : 

Effective in event of war, amount, 63 

Improvements in, 19, 329, 330 
Assistance given to poor, statistics, 287, 288 
Bachelors, proportion to population, 290 
Coal supply, 306 
Crime, statistics, 232, 236, 237 
Debt, National, growth of, 281, 282 
Declaration of war, improbable, 354 
Drunkenness, 227, 229, 230 
Economic effects of war, 277-293 
Efficiency in attack and defence, comparison, 62 
Estates passing by legacy and gift, statistics, 282, 283 
Expenditure on war, statistics, 133-139 

Future war, estimates, 142-144 

Past wars, 128, 130 

Revenue, distribution with regard to, 145, 146 
Fires, losses by, 192, 193 
Foreigners engaged in industry, 283 
Franco-German War (see that title) 
Frontier defences, 57, 342 
Grain Supply : 

Harvests, inequalities, 301 

Insufficiency of local production in time of war, 296, 297 

Import and home production, of wheat, barley, and rye, 

Oats, home production insufficient, 297, 298 
Horses for military service, statistics, 316 
Imports and exports, 278-281, 283, 295, 303-305 
Incomes, statistics, 286, 313 
Insanity resulting from drunkenness, 227 J| 

INDEX 365 

France {continued) : 

Kerosene supply, deficiency, 305, 306 

Marriages, statistics, 208 

Meat supply, deficiency, 303, 304 

Militarism, attitude of people towards, 355 

Military strength, statistics, 36, 63 

Mobilisation of army in time of war, expense estimated, 141 

Navy : 

Armoured ships, introduction, 96 

Expenditure, 133, 137, 138 
Russian compared with, 125 

Increase, 123 
Officers, proportion possessing good preparatory training, 43 
Paris (see that title) 
Population : 

Birth-rate, low, 288-292 

Distribution according to industry, 284 

Town and country, comparative growth, 193 

Value of growth, comparison with Germany, 293 
Re-armament, estimated cost, 5 
Reserve forces, 42, 336 

Defective training proved by manoeuvres, y] 
Revenue and Expenditure, 281 
Rifles : 

Calibre adopted, 319 

Effectiveness : 

Comparison with other nations, 4 
Diagrams illustrating, 325-327 
Russo-Austro-German war of the future (see that title) 
Sappers, number employed, 333 
Savings-banks, deposits in, 282 
Socialist propaganda, 288 
Tactics, defects of, 25 
Tonkin War, torpedoes used in, loi 
Unemployed, proportion of population, 287, 288 
Women, active share in industry and trade, 287 
Franco-German War, 1870 : ' 1 • r 

Economic condition of country, improvement resultm^' from, 

Fortresses captured, 54 
Improvement in arms since : 

Artillery, 9, 19, 78, 329, 33° 

Small arms, 4, 5, 323, 324 
Losses, statistics, 130, 131, 343-345 

Metz, battle indecisive, 49 j-.i„j„ 

Mobiles, second day's attack generally necessary for dislodg- 

ment, 53 
Navy, unimportant part played by, 120, 121 ,, , ^„ 

Moltke, statement as to improbability of attack on 
German coast, 117 

1,66 INDEX 

Franco-German War {continued) : 
Night attacks, 51 
Officers : 

Disablement, adopted as principle in batile, 42 

German : 

Losses, statistics, 335, 336 

Superiority in independence and self-reliance, 46 
Paris, siege of, number of men required for investment, 55 
Sharpshooters, important part in, 331, 332 
Wounded : 

Ambulance arrangement:, defective, 154. I55 

Cold steel, wounds by, percentage, 148 

Explosive bullets, charge as to use of, 150 

Shells and bullets, wounds by, percentage, 149 

Total losses, 131, 343-345 
Franco-German War of the future, 63 
Distribution of troops, 64 
Effectiveness in attack, comparison, 66 
Invasion of France by Germany, 65 
Invasion of Germany by France, 67 
Paris, siege of, difficulties attending, 66 
Strength of forces, almost equal, 65 
Frontier defences, 52, 57, 58 
Franco-German, 65, 66 
Russian, 73, 75 

Gebler, Professor, on effectiveness of modern rifle, 4, 5, 329 
Gerbinus, on movements initiated by the masses, 60 
Germany : 

Agricultural Class : 

Earnings, 314 

Effect of war on, 267, 314, 316 

Percentage of population, 266, 268 
Artillery : 

Increase in power, 19 

Strength in 1896, 63 
Bachelors, proportion to population, 290 
Coal supply, 306 
Crime, statistics, 232, 236, 338 
Danish War, expenditure of Prussia on, 130 
Drunkenness, 227, 229, 230 
Economic effects of war, 266-276 
Efficiency in attack and defence, 62 
Emigration, decline in, 274 

Expenditure on future war, estimates, 142, 143, 144 
Expenditure on maintenance of Army and Navy, 133-138 
Fires, losses by, 192, 193 

INDEX 367 

Germany {continued) : 

Franco-German War (see that title) 
Franco-German War of the Future (see that title) 
Frontier defences, expenditure on, 57 
Grain Supply : 

Harvests, inequality, 298, 299, 301 
Home production and import, 295 
Insufficiency in time of war, 296, 297, 299, 302 

Plans for remedying, 302, 303 
Oats, home production insufficient, 297, 298 
Horses, number required for military service, 314-316 
Incomes, distribution, 269, 270, 272, 308 
Industrial classes, effect of war on, 266-275 
Infantry : 

Carriages used for transport during manoeuvres, 332 
Re-armament, estimated cost, 5 
Kerosene supply, deficiency, 305, 306 
Manoeuvres, 45, 332 
Marriages, statistics, 208 
Meat supply, imports and exports, 303, 304 
Militarism, attitude of people towards, 355 
Military strength : 

Proportion of population engaged in army, 318 
Total, 36, 63 
Military writers, caution of, 26 

Expenditure, 125 
Increase, 123 
Officers : 

Hereditary class in Prussia, 350 . 

Proportion possessing good preparatory trammg, 43 
Population : 

Distribution by occupation, 266, 268 
Growth, 290-293 

Town and country, growth m compared, 193 
Old men and children, percentage, 289 
Production of necessities of life, decrease m tune of war, by 

withdrawal of men for military service, 315 
Reserve, statistics, 42, 336 
Revenue, I45) 146 
Rifles : 

Calibre adopted, 319 

Effectiveness, 4, 326, 327 , , t. • -d- 1 

Russian designs against, report spread by Prmce Bismarck, 

I "^6 
Russo-Austro-German War of the Future (see that title) 

Salt supply, superfluity, 304, 305 

Sappers, number in army, 333 

Savings of people, inconsiderable, 269, 271, 309, 31° 

368 INDEX 

Germany {contijiued') : 

Securities, effect of war on, 275, 276 

Socialist propaganda, activity, 271, 311, 312 

Wages, low standard, evils of war increased by, 308-311 

Women, effect of war on wage-earning class, 272-274 

Gilyarovski, P., on condition of children in Russia, 211 

" Gloire," construction, 96 

Goltz, Van der. Quotations from : 

Accidental Battle, description, 46 
Deterioration of armies during long war, 346 
Importance of reinforcements, 45 

Gorni-Dubnak, night attack on, 51 

Grain supply, effect of war on, 141, 294-303, 310, 313, 314, S^S 
(see also names of Countries) 

Grardimay, defective ambulance arrangements, 156 

Great Britain (see England) 

Gulletta, defective ambulance arrangements, 156 

Guns : 

Field guns (see title Artillery, subheading Guns) 
Naval, 99, 103 

Hedzvetski, V. I., on insufficiency of grain supply for German 

Army on Russian frontier, in event of war, 300 
Hoenig, F., Quotations from : 

Night attacks, 51 

Sieges, in modern warfare, 52 
Hohenlohe, Prince, on : 

Franco-Prussian War, incident in, 335 

Shrapnel, destructiveness, 8 
Holland : 

Fires, losses by, 192 

Rifle, calibre adopted, 319 
Hornby, Admiral, on msufficiency of food supply in England in 

time of war, 313 
Horses, use of for military service, 315, 316 

Russia, large supply available, 240-242 
Hungary : 

Bachelors, percentage, 290 

Crime, statistics, 232 

Grain production, 295 

Population, percentage of old men and children, 289 

Illuminating bomb for use in night attacks, 52 
Incomes, Statistics : 

England, 259 

France, 286, 313 

Germany, 269, 270, 272, 308 

Russia, 314 

INDEX 369 

Infantry : 

Attacking party, number, proportion to defenders, 31 

Bayonet, reliance on in modern warfare impossible, 33, 34 

Carriages, use for rapid transport, 332 

Cavalry, attack on, 1 5 

Enveloping, varying opinions as to, 30, 34 

Equipment, weight, 36 

Losses, estimates, 14, 27-32 

Marches, endurance required, 25, 36 

Officers, great ability required, 27 

Reconnaissance, duties in relation to, 12, 13, 24 

Re-armament, estimated cost, 5 

Rifle fire against, effectiveness, 323, 326, 327 

Role in future warfare, 23 

Tactics, differences of opinion as to modern system, 25-34 
Inkerman, battle of, casualties caused by bullet wounds, 148 
Instructions as to tactics, elaboration in time of peace desirable, 

336, 337 
Iron and steel manufacture, working of in Russia, 242, 243, 307 
Ironclads : 

Aluminium, vessels protected by, alleged impenetrability, ro2 
Boilers and engines, protection of, 102 
Cost of construction, 98 
Guns and ammunition, 98, 99 
Introduction, 96 
Machinery, complexity, 106 
Thickness of armour, 98 
Water-tight compartments, 102 
" Italia " : 

Cost of construction, 98 
Guns and ammunition carried by, 99 
Italy : 

Crime, statistics, 232, 236. 

Drunkenness, deaths from, 230 

Efficiency, comparative, in attack and defence, 62 

Expenditure on war estimates, I33-I39) 142-146 

Frontier defence, expenditure, 57 

Future war, distribution of troops, 64 

Marriages, statistics, 208 

Grain Supply : 

Harvests, inequalities, 301 
Home production and importation, 295 
Insufficient in event of war, 296, 297 
Oats, home productions, 297, 298 
Horses for mihtary service, statistics, 316 
Infantry, re-armament, cost estimated, 5 
Kerosene supply, deficiency, 305, 306 
Losses in war with Austria, 343, 345 
Meat supply, superfluity, 303, 304 

2 A 



Italy {continued) : 

Military strength, total, 36, 63 
Navy, expenditure on, 133, 138, 139 

Russia compared with, 125 
Population, rate of increase, 292 
Reserve, proportion to regular army, 25, 42, 336 
Revenue, distribution, 145, 146 

Calibre adopted, 319 

Effectiveness, 4 
Salt supply, superfluity, 304, 305 
Sappers, number in army, 333 
Securities held in Germany, 275, 276. 

JANSON, General, on : 

Infantry attack, 32 

Officers in Franco-Prussian War, independence of, 46 
Japan : 

Foreign trade with, 125, 126 

Russia, relations with, 124, 125, 127 
Jung, General, on mobilisation of French Army in time of war, 141 

Kagaretch, night attack on, 51 

Kars, night attack on, 51 

Kef, defective ambulance arrangements at, 156 

Kerosene supply, 305, 306 

Killed, proportion to wounded in modern warfare, 342-345 

Killichen, General, on number of sappers required by army, 333 

" Koenig Wilhelm," cost of construction, 98 

Konigsberg, sections of bridges, and materials for railways stored 

at, 83 
Koti(^, S. N., on effect of war on price of corn in Austria, 141 
Kovno, strength of fortress, 79 
Kuropatkin, General, night attack advocated by, 51 

"La Poudre sans Fumee" : 

Battle described in, 47 

Night attack advocated in, 51 
Langlois, Colonel, statements as to artillery fire : 

Effectiveness, 7, 8, 329, 330 

Number of rounds required for one field-piece, 20 
Le Mans, night attack on, 51 

" Le Progres Militaire " on cost of naval weapons, 99 
Leer, General, on : 

Duration, probable, of war with Russia, 315 

German Army on Russian frontier, statistics, 300 
Liebert, on difficulties of pursuit under modem conditions, 50 

INDEX 371 

Lissa, destruction of Italian fleet at, 120 

Losses, probable, in future wars, 319-346 

Luzeux, General, on modern teaching of tactics, 26 

" Magenta," cost of construction, 98 

Makarof, Admiral, on machinery of the " Runk," 106 

Malshinski, Mr., on growth of population m Russia, 190 

Mannlicher rifle, effectiveness of, 323, 324, 343. 344 

Manoeuvres, information obtained from, incomplete and unsatistac- 

tory, 41 r 1 T- 

Maps and plans, Russo-Austro-German War of the Future : 
Prussia invasion by Russia, 89 
Russian defensive system, 74 
Vistula-Bug-Narev theatre of war, 'j'], 78 
Marches, endurance required, 25, 36 
Marriages, statistics, 207, 208 
Mauser Rifle : 

Effectiveness, 4, 320, 321 
Number of shots fired per second, 4 
Mayence, investment difficulty, 67, 68 
Meat Supply Statistics : 

Continental Powers, 280, 303, 304 
England, 254-256 . 

Melinite, danger of premature explosion, 20 
" Merrimac," exploit of, 96 
Mexican war, losses in, analysis, 345 
Mienol, Colonel, on French tactics, 25 

•'Militarische Essays"; statements as to cavalry in modern war- 
fare, 14, 15 . , 
Militarism, opposition to, 347 "350 
Mobilisation : ■ r ^ 

French Army in time of war, estimate ot cost, 141 
Rapidity of modern methods, 36, 64, 65 
Moltke, General Von, statement as to possible invasion of German 

coast by French Navy, 1 17 
" Monitor," battle with " Merrimac," 96 
MontecuUi on effect of insufficient food upon troops, 341 
Morache, analysis of losses in modern wars, 344 
Moscow, attempt to occupy, possibility, in event of war, 84-67 
Movements of enemy, observation of : 
Auxiliary instruments for, 10 
Cavalry and infantry, duties in relation to, 12, 13 
Sharpshooters, duties, 331, 332 
Muller, General, on effectiveness of modern artillery, 20, 31, 330 
Murder, convictions, statistics, 232 

^^^Mo^s?o J campaign, strength of French and Russian armies at 
Smolensk and Moscow, 86 

372 INDEX 

Napoleon I. {continued) : 

Plan of battle, allowance made for accidents, 45, 46 
Success in battle, statement as to chances of, 44 
Naval Warfare : 

Accident, strong element in, 108, 109 
Austrian Navy, expenditure on, 133, 137, 138 
Russian expenditure compared with, 125 
Blockade of ports, 104 
Bombardment of towns, 103, 118, 119 

Undefended towns not to be bombarded, principle not 
acknowledged, 103 
Coast batteries, ineffectiveness, 104 
Cruisers : Light and swift, preference for, 100 
Destructiveness, increase in, 105 
English Navy (see England) 

Expenditure entailed, 98, 99, no, in, n3, 133-138 
French Navy (see France) 
Future of naval warfare, 93-n2 
German Navy, expenditure, 123, 125 
Guns, 99, 103 
Ironclads (see that title) 
Italian Navy, expenditure, 125, 133, 138, 139 
Ordnance, improvements in, 97 
Privateering, 109, 295 

Result of battle between fleets of equal strength, 107 
Russian Navy (see title Russia) 
Shells : 

Cost of, 99, 100 

Destructive power, 99, 106, 108 
Social and economic results, no, 112 
Steam, adoption, 95 
Torpedoes, 100-103 
Nerve of soldiers : 

Artillery fire, effect of, 10 
Deterioration, 52, 340 
Rifle fire, effect of, 6 

Strain in dealing with highly explosive ammunition, 21 
Night Attack : 

Effectiveness, difference of opinion as to, 50-52 
Nerves of soldiers affected by possibility of, 340 
Nigote, Captain : 

Battle described by, 48 
Duration of battles, 52 
Nirschau riots, casualties caused by rifle fire, 322 
Norway marriage statistics, 209 

Oats, home production insufficient in Central European States, 
297, 298 

INDEX 373 

Obukovsk, ordnance factory at, 308 
Officers : 

Decline of popularity of military profession, 350 

Disablement of, chief aim of enemy, 41, 335 

Efficiency under modern conditions questioned, 27, 34, 37, 335 

Militarism supported by, 350 

Paris : 

Siege of (1870), number of men required for investment, 55 

Siege of, in Franco-German War of the Future, difficulties, 66 

Unemployed in, 288 

Workmen trained to light trades, incapacity for heavy tasks, 272 
Paskevilch, Colonel, instrument for measuring distances of rifle fire 

invented by, 327 
Peroxylene, danger of premature explosion, 20 
Pestitch, General, on cost of firing naval guns, 100 
Peterhead, bombardment threatened during naval manoeuvres, 103 
Pigorof on : 

Defective care of wounded, 154 

Frost-bitten feet caused by defective boots, 1 58 
" Piotr Veliki," guns carried by, 97 
Pistols, Mauser, rate of fire, 4 
Plans of campaign in future warfare, 63 
Plevna, siege of, 54 
Poland : 

Crime, statistics, 231, 236, 238 

Population, town and country, comparative growth, 193 

Strategical importance in event of Russo-Austro-German War, 
Pont de Fahs, defective care of wounded at, 156 
Populace : 

Attitude towards militarism, 347, 353 

Effect of war on vital needs of, 294 
Porth, Dr., on defective care of wounded, 153, 157 
Potatoes, cultivation and importation into England, 254 
Powder, smokeless, effect of, 3 

Artillery, 17, 18 

Assault, difficulties increased, 337, 339 

Battle described in " La Poudre sans Fumde," 47 

Cavalry attack favoured by, 1 5 

Deadliness of modern warfare increased, 6 

Infantry action, 24 

Night attack aided by, 51 

Reconnaissances, difficulty increased, 12 

Sound of shot, distance of penetration lessened, 24 
Prisons, expenditure on, in Russia, 239 
Privateering in future warfare, 109, 295 
" Prokhor," guns carried by, 97, 98 



Propaganda against war, effect on minds of soldiers, 30 
Prussian needle-gun (1870), range of effectual fire, 6 
Psychological aspect of war, 59 
Pursuit : 

Cavalry, role in, 16 

Difficulty under modern conditions, 50 
Puzuirevski, General, on night attacks, 5 1 

Quarters for soldiers, difficulty of procuring, 37 

Reconnaissances : 

Cavalry and infantry, duties defined, 12, 13, 24 

Sharpshooters, employed for prevention of, 331 
Reger, Dr., on modern bullets, 150 
Reserve Soldiers : 

Drawbacks to employment of, 25, 27, 37, 340 

Officers, efficiency doubtful, 27, yj^ 42, 335 

Statistics, 42, 336 
Retreat : 

Cavalry pursuit, 16 

Dangers under modern conditions, 340 
Revenue, distribution in different countries, 145, 146 
Revolutionary movements, effect of war on, 91, 356 
Rhine, probable difficulty of crossing, in Franco-German War of 

the Future, 67 
Richter, Professor, on defective care of wounded, 155 
Rifle wounds, 148 

Explosive character of bullets fired at great velocity, 150, 151 

Increased number of casualties, 150, 152, 319 
Penetrative power of bullets, 3, 149, 319 
Proportion of killed to wounded, 342 
Rifles : 

Accuracy increase, 6, 7, 323, 324 

American Civil War, over-charged rifles found on field, 21 

Artillery fire, comparative destructiveness, 148 

Calibre, diminished, advantages, 5 

Cartridges, number carried, 5-7, 328 

Chilian War, deadliness of modern arms proved by, 6 

Effectiveness of modern weapons, 3, 319 
Diagrams illustrating, 321, 343 
Rate of increase in power, 38 

Fire over heads of advancing troops, dangers of, 334 

Measuring distances, instrument for, 327 

Penetrative power of bullets, 3, 6, 149, 319 

Random shots, losses from, 29 

Range of effective fire, 3, 324 

Rate of fire, 4, 45 

Revolution and deformation of bullet, destructiveness effected 
by, 322, 328 

INDEX 375 

Rifles {continued) : 

Self-loading, made of alloy of aluminium, 4 
Shrapnel fire, comparison with, 8, 329 

Sound of shot, distance of penetration lessened by use of 
smokeless powder, 24 
Rohne, General, on : 

Attack on fortified position, 10 
Sharpshooters, use of, 19 
Roon, Von, on strain on nerves, 340 
Roumania : 

Army, number of sappers in, 333 
Harvests, inequalities, 301 
"Rurik," machinery of, 106 

Agricultural Class, 196-203 

Conditions subsequent to Crimean War, 114 
Earnings, 314 
Effect of war on, 249, 317 
Indebtedness of peasants, 203 
Arms and ammunition, manufacture, 242, 243, 307 
Births : 

Illegitimate, 223, 225 

Proportion, compared with other countries, 207 
Cattle supply, 198-201, 303> 3^4 
Character of population and country, 163, 203, 214 
Children, condition of, 209-213 
Chinese trade, 125, 126 
Coal supply, 306, 3o7 , . ^, , ^ 
Corea, possession of undesirable, I2e), 127 
Cotton, wool, skins, and linen supply, 307 
Crime, statistics, 228 
Crimean War (see that title) 
Death-rate, 209 

Declaration of war improbable, 354 
Defensive war, advantages in, 246 
Doctors, number, comparison with other countries, 220 
Domestic animals, 198 
Drunkenness, 227 
Duration of war, probability, 315 
Economic effects of war, 163 

Summary, 242, 250 
Education, popular, 216 
Efficiency in attack and defence, 62 
Expenditure on justice and prisons, 239 
Expenditure on War : 

Comparison with other States, 133, 245 
Daily, in time of war, 142, 143, 169, 248 
Decrease, probable, 249 
Future war estimates, 142-144, 169, 245 

376 INDEX 

Russia {continued) : 

Expenditure on War : 

Increase, 133, I34-I39» 169 

One inhabitant, expenditure by, 169, 170 

One soldier, cost of maintenance, yearly, 136, 169 

Past wars, 131, 132, 168 

Revenue, distribution, 145, 146 
Families of soldiers, contribution towards support during time 

of war, 169, 171, 314 
Finances, 115 

Difficulties attending war, 247, 248 
Fires, losses by, 192-195 
Food supply, sufficient, in event of war, 302 
Germany, Russian designs against, report spread by Prince 

Bismarck, 136 
Grain Supply : 

Effect of war on prices, 249 

Harvests, inequalities, 301 

Oats, yearly exports, 298 

Sufficient in time of war, 297 
Horses for military service, 240, 316 
Incomes of people, effect of war on, 314 
Indebtedness of population, 203 
Infantry, re-armament, cost estimated, 5 
Iron and steel, working and manufacture of, 242, 243, 307 
Japan, danger from improbable, 127 
Kerosene supply, 305, 306 
Marriages, proportion compared with other countries, 207, 

Meat supply, 303, 304 
Medicine, outlay on, per inhabitant, 222 
Military strength, 36, 63 

Proportion of population engaged in army, 318 
Navy : 

Armoured ships, introduction, 97 

Expenditure, 124, 125, 133-139 

Increase, 116, 124 

Need of, questioned, 113 

Shipbuilding works executed in England, 116 

Steam introduction, 95 
Nerve of soldiers, probable superiority, 52 
Officers, proportion possessing good preparatory training, 43 
Population : 

Distribution, 190 

Effect of war on, 188 

Growth, 114, 115, 189, 190, 193, 206, 207, 292 
Posts and Telegraphs, expenditure on, 181 
Renewal of army, circumstances affecting, 240 
Reserve, proportion to regular army, 25, 42, 336 


INDEX 377 

Russia {continued) : 

Revenue, distribution, 145, 146 
Rifles : 

Accuracy, improvement in, 325 
Calibre adopted, 319 

Paskevitch instrument for measuring distances, 327 
Salt supply, 304, 305 
Sappers, number employed in army, 333 
Savings, inconsiderable, 193, 196, 314 
Securities : 

Depreciation in event of war, 166-168, 247, 248 
Germany, securities held in, 275 
Settlements, average number of houses in, 191 
Sickness, prevalence, 223, 224 
Siberian railway, 124, 126 

Statistics, official, compiled first under Nicholas I., 164 
Suicide, statistics, 225 
Towns, growth of, 193 
Trade, effect of war on, 172, 244, 249 
Exports, 172 
Imports, 177 

Manufacturing crisis probable, 182 
Maritime trade, 125 
Undertakings in 1892, 180 
Wages, 186, 314 J J o 

Wounded, care of, reforms needed, 158 
Russo-Austro-German War of the Future : 
Allies of Germany, weakness, 70, 71 
Distribution of troops, 64 
Defensive attitude of Germany, 72, 73 
Economic and social conditions, affecting, 91, 92 
France, probable change of attitude in the event of return of 

Alsace-Lorraine, 90 
Invasion of Austria by Russia, 85, 87, 90 
Invasion of Eastern Galicia by Russia, improbable, 90 
Invasion of Germany by Russia, 87 

Bombardment by fleet, small cities only accessible, 121 
Invasion of Russia, improbable, 82, 85, 1 17-120 
Maps and plans, 74, 77, 78, 89 

Moscow, attempt to occupy, 74, 84-87 „ „ o o/; 
Number of men available, 63, 75, 76, 79, 80, Si, «5, »o 
Plan of campaign, 69 00 

Poland, strategical importance, 72, 73, 82-65 
Prolongation of war, advantageous to Russia, 86 
Results, probable, 90 

St. Petersburg, attempt to occupy, 84 ^ o o oa 

Vistula-Bug Narev District, operations in, 73, 70, o4, o5. <50 

Plans, 77, 78 ^ ^ 
Winter, difficulties of advance m, »7 



Russo- Turkish war : 

Entrenchments, value proved in, 332 

Expenditure, 131, 132, 168 

Frost-bitten feet ascribed to wet boots, 158 

Industrial produciion of Russia at time of, 182 

Losses, statistics, 343"345 

Nerve of soldiers, 52 

Night attack, 51 

Revolutionary movement strengthened by, 91 

Torpedoes, use in, loi 

Wounded : 

Cast out of trenches, 157 
Defective care of, 1 54 
Steel weapons, 148 
Riistow, on probable duration of future campaign, 341 

St. Cvr, Marshal, on composition of a brave army, 340 

St. Petersburg, German occupation possibly attempted in war of 

the future, 84 
Salt supply, Russia contrasted with Western Powers, 304 
Sappers, number required, 333 
Sardinia, war (1859) expenditure on, 130 
Saur, General Von, on attack on fortresses, 56 
Saxony : 

Grain production, 299 

Incomes, amount and distribution, 270 

Population, town and country, comparative growth, 193 
Scheibert, Major, on Russo-Austro-German War of the Future, 72, 

Schultze-Gavernitz, Dr. Von, on low standard of wages m 

Germany, 309 
Scotland, population distribution, 262 
Securities, Government, probable effect of war on, 353 
Servia : 

Harvests, inequality, 301 

Securities held in Germany, 275, 276 
Sharpshooters : 

Artillery-men hampered by, 18, 19 

Use of in future warfare, 331, 332 
Shells : 

Decreased use in future warfare, 9 

Explosion, premature, danger of, 20 

Increase of destructive power, 9 

Navy, 99 

Destructive power, 106, 108 

Wounds caused by, 148, 149, 152 
Shrapnel : 

Area of dispersal, 8 

INDEX 379 

Shrapnel {conimued) : 

Chief artillery ammunition of the future, 9 
Destructiveness, 8, 9 

Rifle fire compared with, 8, 329 
Siberian railway, important only as means of transport, 124, 120 
Sickness, losses from, in armies, 344 
Sieges (see title Fortresses) 

Sinope, battle of, cost of firing guns, 100 ., . 

Size of armies, difficulties of warfare mcreased by, 30 
Skugarevski, General, on : 
Attack by infantry, 31, 32 
Rifle fire, 334 
Smokeless powder (see title Powder) 

Social conditions, eff"ect of war on, 59, 9i> iio> "2, 1&3, 347 
Socialism, development in Germany, 311 
Sokolovski, Mr., on indebtedness of Russian peasant, 205 
Spain : 

Crime, statistics, 232 
Rifle, effectiveness, 4 
Steel Weapons : 

Casuahies caused by, 148, 3^9 
Russia, manufacture of, 307 
Stein, on provisioning of army, 141 
Strasburg, siege of, sickness amongst soldiers, 34b 
Suicide, statistics, 225 , ■,. n ^ ,^ 

Supporting bodies in attack, deadliness of artillery fire to, 10 

Sweden : 

Crime, statistics, 236 

Fire, losses by, 192 

Marriages, statistics, 108 
Switzerland, frontier defences, expenditure on, 57 

Deadliness of warfare, increased by modern system, 331 

Diff'erences of opinion as to, 25 
Tchernaya, battle of, bullet wounds in, 140 
Torpedoes, 100-103 

Trenches (see title Entrenchments) , , ,,, 

Tunis, French Army, defective care of wounded, 155 
Turkey : 

Revenue expenditure, 145 

Rifle, calibre adopted, 319 

Russo-Turkish War (see that title) 

Securities held in Germany, 275 
Tumwald, on weight of equipment, 345 
Typhus, death from, frequency in Russia, 223, 224 

United States : . 

Chilian War (see that title) 

38o INDEX 

United States {continued) : 

Civil War (see title American Civil War) 

Fires, losses by, 192, 193 

Food supply, independence in time of war, 302 

Population increase, 292 


Calibre adopted, 319 
Effectiveness, 4 
Universal Service : 

Anarchism, increase since introduction of, 347, 356 

Defects of system, 35-37 

Varischoeffer, Inspector, report on wages in Germany, 310 

Wages : 

Agricultural population, proportion of national income earned 

by, 314 

England, 258 

France, 286 

Germany, 272-274, 308-312 

Russia, 186, 314 

Cost of construction, 98 

Shells carried by, 99 
Werner, Admiral, on character of modern naval warfare, 109 
Wheat (see title Grain Supply) 

Wissenberg, battle of, defective care of wounded at, 154 
Women, Economic Position : 

France, 287 

Germany, 272, 273 
Worth, battle of, dead and wounded soldiers cast out of trenches, 

Wounded : 

Aid to, 147, 152 

Defective arrangements in recent wars, 154 
Difficulties, under modern conditions, 30, 156 
Reforms needed, 152, 156 
Artillery fire, 148, 149, 152 
Character of wounds, effect of improvements in firearms on, 

Killed, proportion to wounded in modern warfare, 342 
Rifle wounds (see that title) 
Steel weapons, casualties caused by, 148, 319 

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